West Michigan Pharmacist Says There Are Inherent Dangers In The Prescription Narcotic Business

Posted at 10:55 PM, May 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-13 03:56:04-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 12, 2014) – A fatal shooting at a pharmacy in Lansing highlights concerns a West Michigan pharmacist has had for years about the profession.

Ken Fagerman addresses those concerns in the book he authored, Staring Down the Barrel.

The shooting of a Rite Aid employee in Lansing on Monday is a story Fagerman is familiar with.

“This is a fairly monumental event in the state of Michigan without a doubt, very sad,” he said.

Before working as a pharmacist in West Michigan, Fagerman worked in South Bend, Indiana.  He said while working in Indiana, his peers were routinely victims of crimes.

“Our stores were being robbed on almost a monthly basis,” he said.

He told the story of one store that was ambushed as employees were opening for the day.

“They were robbed and made to lie down and they were executed,” said Fagerman.

The real-life stories are used as examples in his book which he said is written as warning to pharmacists and a ‘how-to’ when it comes to preventing crime.

“Anyone who works in the pharmacy, you need to be conscious of your surroundings and the potential for violence and there have been events where even the customers have been victims of these horrific events,” Fagerman said.

FOX 17 first introduced you to Fagerman in February.  He helped form a partnership between the Muskegon Police Department and area pharmacists in which attempts at fraud and forgery are reported, along with a description of people to watch out for.

Now, we are learning the partnership is paying off along the Lakeshore.

“The attempts have gone down dramatically or ceased to date,” he said.

His advice to other pharmacists is to take action before a crime is committed.

“When they ignore the problem, there are questionable prescriptions that go unreported and questionable customers,” he said.  “So by letting that happen, you are only perpetuating the problem and making it worse.”

FOX 17 spoke with other pharmacists in the area who said the dangers of a desperate criminal is something they always keep in the back of their minds.