3 out of 4 pharmacies fell victim to criminals
three out of every four pharmacies have been the victims of crime over the past year.
Armed raids, robberies and shoplifting were reported by 75pc of pharmacies nationwide.
In a third of the incidents where a crime was committed, the perpetrators carried at least one weapon, with knives proving the most common.
They were used in 75pc of crimes, while syringes were used by criminals in a quarter of robberies.
A gun was produced in 13pc of the incidents.
A study conducted by the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) also found that 37pc of pharmacists who were the victims of a crime did not report it as they felt the perpetrators would not be charged.
IPU vice-president Daragh Connolly described the findings as "deeply disturbing" and added that the level of crime is "impacting negatively" on staff welfare.
Mr Connolly also questioned what he feels are "lenient" penalties handed out to the perpetrators of these crimes, and said more should be done by the justice system to prevent such incidents from happening.
"Criminals clearly see pharmacies as an easy target," he said.
"Even when they are caught, the extremely lenient penalties handed down by the courts bear no relation to the impact the crimes have on the staff of small local businesses who are victims."