How is a Holdup Button Beneficial to Pharmacies Today?

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Pharmacies are a known, but not an often talked about source of workplace violence. Pharmacies are the target of workplace violence because of the obvious – assailants see pharmacies as a natural place to get drugs. Because of this, a holdup button from CRS Notify would be essential in an area such as a pharmacy.

Why Use a Holdup Button for Pharmacies?

There are a few scenarios where a computer holdup button for pharmacies would be useful.

One scenario where a holdup button for pharmacies would be useful would be if a worker in the pharmacy needs help quickly. Perhaps a patient has a heart attack while receiving a vaccine in a private room. What should the attending pharmacist do? Having a holdup button from CRS Notify would help in this situation by alerting colleagues to the unfolding situation very quickly.

Another scenario where a holdup button would be useful is in the case of imminent danger to both pharmacists and patients. There have been many recent cases where a pharmacy has been robbed at gunpoint for drugs. On August 11, 2017, there were two unnamed armed assailants that robbed a Giant Genie Pharmacy in Charlotte, North Carolina. Multiple medications were taken, and one customer was shot. Another robbery occurred on July 21, 2017, when Darrin Nathaniel May, 25, of Muncie, Indiana, robbed a Muncie CVS after passing notes to the pharmacists on duty. No weapon was explicitly implied or shown.

Because medications and other drugs are so readily available at pharmacies, a holdup button from CRS Notify would be essential to keep all employees in the loop of what is going on at all times.

How to Avoid Workplace Violence in Pharmacies

Pharmacies are especially vulnerable to workplace violence because of the access to medications and other drugs. How should pharmacies be prepared in case of robbery?

Surveillance cameras are an absolute must when trying to avoid robberies in pharmacies. There have been many times when robberies have been completely avoided simply because of the presence of a surveillance system. If all else fails, the cameras can get a clear picture of the assailant.

Certain controlled substances are required by the DEA to be recorded at all times. The DEA advises pharmacies and other places that dispense controlled substances to keep this information stored properly at all times.

Incident Response Plan 

An incident response plan is just as important as a holdup button for pharmacies. How does the staff need to react in case of emergency? Depending on the type of emergency, it may not be advisable to hit the holdup button right away. In fact, many safety and security personnel will advise against hitting the holdup button during an active emergency if it is not safe to do so.

An incident response plan would be especially advisable for pharmacies that regularly see different customers with limited mobility or mental abilities. What happens when the pharmacy needs to be evacuated quickly?

In the case of an active shooter, many places will recommend run-hide-fight. Running from the situation is the first thing that people should do. If it is unsafe to run, then people need to hide in a safe place. If all else fails, fighting the assailant should be a last resort.


It is essential for a holdup button for pharmacies to be included in every incident response plan. CRS Notify holdup buttons include the option to raise two alert levels. Our holdup buttons also instantly alert everyone within a network if an alert has been raised. CRS Notify holdup buttons can also be directly connected to 911 saving valuable dispatch time when seconds matter the most.

Still Unsure About a Holdup Button?

Contact us for more information to make the best decision for your holdup button system. or 800-533-7201 M-F 8-5 pm CST