Pharmacists in the Windsor region are regularly being robbed as drug addicts desperately look to score on cash and drugs.

Mike Belisle recalled a recent incident in May when two men barged into his east-end pharmacy, jumped up over the counter and told everyone to hit the floor.

One of the men ran around flaunting a gun in people’s faces, while both demanded cash and looked for drugs, explained Belisle, owner of Hunter’s Pharmacy.

The frequency of robberies throughout the region has put owners on high alert, with many of them meeting with police to discuss possible solutions.

Belisle had read about other pharmacies getting hit.

“We were lucky for the longest time,” he said. “It was just one of those things, your number just came up. A lot of the patients and the staff were kind of shaken up by it.”

Taking action

Pharmacists are meeting with Windsor police and the OPP Thursday evening to talk about the problem. President of Essex County Pharmacists Association, Heather Foley, will be part of those discussions.

Foley was targeted at a pharmacy in her first week on the job back in 2012. Her experience made her feel threatened and frightened at work.

Heather Foley is the president of the Essex County Pharmacists Association.

“I don’t think it’s OK for us to go to work and feel that way,” she told CBC’s Windsor Morning. “I think it’s time that we start discussing ways to prevent it.”

She plans to introduce a few ideas that could make pharmacists safer. One of those suggestions comes from B.C., where it’s mandatory for all pharmacists to have time-delayed safes.

The time delay deters thieves because the access to the drugs inside are not immediate, even after staff enter the code.