Joint FIP – Red Cross session - Violence against pharmacies

Saturday 3 October 2015
E5, 1.5 hours

Organised by the Red Cross, the FIP Community Pharmacy Section and the FIP Military & Emergency Pharmacy Section


Personal safety is a matter that concerns everyone in today’s environment. Surveys show that workplace violence and the fear of it are increasing.

The front-line role of pharmacists and their co-workers leads to exposure to aggressive, abusive and violent behaviour because they are in regular and frequent contact with the public, often when the patients and customers are under some stress. Surveys have shown that violence in pharmacy is a growing concern. Work-related violence can be defined as: Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work. This definition clearly covers the circumstances in which pharmacists find themselves, whether they are owner operators, employees in hospital or community settings or contracted as self-employed locums. Health and Safety legislation places responsibility on employers, employees and contractors to develop a safer working environment. Topics included in this session are a) Security – main perspective, b) Emergency, c) Fire d) Information and IT-security, e) Cash- and merchandise handling, f) Crisis management, g) Robbery and theft, h) Protection of the physical working environment and i) Protection outside the working environment, and with a special focus on how to think security. 

Learning objectives

Knowledge-based session

At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the improvements that can be made to improve security at the community pharmacy.
  2. Identify current security needs and actions to be taken by using appropriate checklists.
  3. Distinguish how to protect and safeguard the core operations of pharmacy.
  4. Identify how to minimise risks for violence against community pharmacies.
  5. Distinguish that safety and security are 'perishable' and need continuous work.
  6. Outline a security plan for the pharmacy in order to create a safe environment for customers and staff.

Chairs: Lars-Åke Söderlund (FIP CPS and Apoteket, Sweden) and Jane Dawson (FIP MEPS, New Zealand) 


12:30 1) Violence towards healthcare professionals is not acceptable - existing situations and campaigns within the International Red Cross of high value for community pharmacy
Bruce Eshaya-Chauvin (Medical Adviser/Healthcare in Danger Project, International Committee of the Red Cross)

12:55 2) How far forward should a pharmacy or a medical logistics department deploy in a war zone?
Wendy Walker (FIP MEPS, Australia)

13:20 3) Strategies to address the violence against pharmacies in peace time
Anette Falk (Apoteket AB, Sweden)

13:45 4) Discussion and practical advice