CVS Health issued the following announcement on Oct. 24.
CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today that the company will enhance and expand two of its signature programs focused on helping prevent prescription opioid abuse. Specifically, CVS Health said it will install 1,100 additional safe medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy locations and local police departments by the end of next year, bringing the total number of safe medication units provided by the company to more than 2,700. Additionally, CVS Health committed to reaching an additional 250,000 students and parents with its opioid abuse prevention education program, Pharmacists Teach, bringing the total number of community participants reached by the program to more than 655,000 by the end of next year. The announcement was made at an event hosted by President Trump at the White House today highlighting new efforts to address the opioid epidemic.
"CVS Health is dedicated to helping the communities we serve address and prevent opioid abuse through our commitment to many different programs and partnerships, including increasing access to safe medication disposal and youth opioid abuse prevention education," said Thomas Moriarty, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, CVS Health. "We have seen firsthand the impact our efforts have already made and we are excited to expand and enhance these initiatives even further."
CVS Health has already installed safe medication disposal units in more than 750 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide and has donated more than 900 additional units to community locations such as police departments. Together, these units have collected more than 217 metric tons, or 480,000 pounds, of unwanted medication. Local law enforcement officials can apply online to receive a safe medication disposal unit through this program.
In addition to its commitment to assisting with safe medication disposal, CVS Health has already educated more than 400,000 students and parents about the dangers of prescription opioid abuse with its Pharmacists Teach program. Through this program, CVS pharmacists visit local schools in their community to talk to students and parents about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs using a curriculum developed by CVS Health together with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Local schools are encouraged to reach out to the Pharmacists Teach program to inquire about scheduling a presentation.
CVS Health is also working to help combat opioid abuse by increasing access to the opioid overdose drug naloxone. CVS Pharmacy locations in 48 states have standing orders, or similar protocol, which allow patients to obtain this medication without an individual prescription. Additionally, as a Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM), CVS Health offers programs to help its clients reduce opioid utilization for members when clinically appropriate. CVS Health also provides enhanced retail pharmacist-led patient counseling on safe prescription opioid use. These programs align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.
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