CVS Health brings its safe medication disposal program to South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C., 2018-Jan-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today (January 23, 2018) that the company has expanded its safe medication disposal program to locations inside select CVS Pharmacy locations in South Carolina to help facilitate proper and timely disposal of opioids and other medications that could be diverted or misused if left in people’s homes. Attorney General Alan Wilson, State Representative Chip Huggins and Lexington Police Chief Terrence Green attended the launch of the program at a Lexington CVS Pharmacy location.

“With a presence in nearly 10,000 communities across the country, we see firsthand the impact of the alarming and rapidly growing epidemic of opioid addiction and misuse,” said Thomas M. Moriarty, Executive Vice President, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, and General Counsel, CVS Health. “Expanding our safe medication disposal efforts here in South Carolina is an extension of the initiatives in place across our company to fight the opioid abuse epidemic and fulfill our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”

The 22 new medication disposal units that will be installed inside CVS Pharmacy locations in South Carolina will supplement the nearly 24 units CVS Health has donated to police and sheriff departments across the state. Nationwide, the company has donated more than 800 units to police departments, collecting more than 125 metric tons, or 270,000 pounds of unwanted medication.

“We know that opioids and other dangerous drugs often end up in the wrong hands after being taken out of parents’ and grandparents’ medicine cabinets,” said Attorney General Wilson. “We appreciate CVS’s efforts to help fight the opioid epidemic by giving people a safe and easy way to dispose of unwanted medications.”

“Prescription drug abuse is a major public health epidemic in our state,” said State Representative Chip Huggins, who is a member of the House Opioid Abuse Prevention Study Committee. “Programs like the one CVS Health is announcing today are integral in helping to avoid the diversion of unused prescription medicines, which can help reduce and prevent their misuse.”

The expansion of safe medication disposal to a total of 750 CVS Pharmacy locations across the U.S. was included among the enhancements to the company’s strategy to address and prevent opioid abuse announced in September 2017. As part of that effort, the company also said it would enhance opioid utilization management aligned with the CDC Guideline for CVS Caremark clients and members, complementing measures already in place. This work builds on ongoing programs the company operates including the Pharmacists Teach program, which brings CVS Pharmacists to local schools to talk to teens and parents about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs. More than 300,000 teens nationally including more than 4,000 in South Carolina have already participated in the program. CVS Health has also worked to expand access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone in 46 states, including South Carolina.

“We see the impact that opioid abuse has on our community every day,” said Terrence Green, Chief of Police of the Lexington Police Department. “We commend CVS Health for this important step in helping combat the opioid epidemic by making it easier for this community and others throughout the state to dispose of their unused medicines.”

The 22 new medication disposal units are being installed over the next several weeks at the following CVS Pharmacy locations:

Anderson Greenville North Charleston
2814 North Main St. 718 Mills Ave. 5215 Ashley Phosphate Rd.
3218 West Blue Ridge Dr.
Bishopville 2401 East North St. Rock Hill
523 South Main St. 2707 Celanese Rd.
Greer
Charleston 2446 Hudson Rd. Simpsonville
65 Sycamore Ave. 698 Fairview Rd.
Inman
Cheraw 11211 Asheville Hwy. Spartanburg
901 Market St. 2397 Reidville Rd.
Irmo
Columbia 1008 Lake Murray Blvd. Summerville
2571 Forest Dr. 301 North Main St.
4711-5 Forest Dr. Lexington
5608 Sunset Blvd. Winnsboro
Florence 27 US Hwy 321 Byp. South
733 South Irby St. Myrtle Beach
3210 East Palmetto St 1303 38th Ave. North

About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,700 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 90 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact:
Erin Shields Britt
Corporate Communications
(401) 770-9237
Erin.Britt@CVSHealth.com

SOURCE: CVS Health

CVS Health expands its safe medication disposal program to include locations inside CVS Pharmacy stores

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2017-Oct-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (October 25, 2017), CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) officially introduced the expansion of the company’s safe medication disposal program to include locations inside CVS Pharmacy stores, marking the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 28. The new safe medication disposal kiosks inside 750 CVS Pharmacy locations will add to the more than 800 units CVS Health has donated to law enforcement officials across the country, which have collected more than 100 metric tons of unwanted medication. Properly disposing of unused medications can reduce the risk of misuse, abuse or diversion.

“Solving the opioid crisis will not be easy and it will take the concerted effort of patients, providers, payors, pharmacies, advocacy organizations, elected officials and community leaders,” said Thomas M. Moriarty, Executive Vice President, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, and General Counsel, CVS Health. “Our safe medication disposal program is just one of the many initiatives we have undertaken to help prevent opioid abuse and drug addiction in our communities.”

CVS Health is unveiling its first disposal units inside CVS Pharmacy locations in Wilmington, North Carolina and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week.

“The opioid crisis is tearing apart families all over North Carolina and this nation,” said Attorney General Josh Stein of North Carolina. “Safely disposing of unneeded medications is an important and simple step we can all take to keep these drugs out of the wrong hands. I applaud and thank CVS for making it easier for us to get rid of these dangerous and highly addictive drugs.”

“Eighty percent of heroin users start with a legal prescription drug,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania said. “We appreciate this effort to end diversion of these highly addictive drugs.”

Together with law enforcement, CVS Health also continues to underscore the importance of proper medication disposal this week at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office in Savannah, Georgia, which has received two medication disposal units from CVS Health.

“The opioid epidemic is one of the greatest public health threats facing our country, one that took the lives of 982 Georgians just last year,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “It affects every state and has a devastating impact on our communities tearing apart families and stretching the budgets of local law enforcement and first responders as they do the difficult work on the front lines. CVS Health is continuing to find innovative ways to help in this fight, and we are very grateful to have them as a partner in our Drug Take Back efforts in Georgia.”

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. Nearly 100 CVS Pharmacy locations will be among the many sites across the country where law enforcement will hold a one-day event to collect unwanted prescription medication. Patients can find a participating medication return location using this location finder tool.

CVS Health is also working to address and prevent prescription drug abuse by increasing access to the opioid-overdose reversal medication naloxone in 43 states. Additionally, through the company’s Pharmacists Teach program, CVS pharmacists have volunteered to educate more than 300,000 students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

In September, CVS Health announced an expansion of its enterprise initiatives to fight the opioid abuse epidemic by limiting to seven days the supply of opioids dispensed for certain acute prescriptions for patients who are new to therapy; limiting the daily dosage of opioids dispensed based on the strength of the opioid; and requiring use of immediate-release formulations of opioids before extended release opioids are dispensed.

About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its 9,700 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 90 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contacts:

Erin Shields Britt
(401) 770-9237
Erin.Britt@CVSHealth.com

Amy Lanctot
401-770-2931
Amy.Lanctot@CVSHealth.com

SOURCE: CVS Health

Health care organizations come together to expand safe medication disposal program to 1,500 Walgreens stores nationwide

Goal set to collect 300 tons of unwanted medications over next two years

DEERFIELD, Ill., 2017-Oct-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — Leading health care organizations AmerisourceBergen, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Pfizer and Prime Therapeutics are joining Walgreens to combat the national opioid abuse crisis by expanding the availability of safe medication disposal kiosks to an additional 900 Walgreens stores near military bases and other areas where the opioid epidemic has challenged communities. When the expansion is complete, kiosks will be available in approximately 1,500 Walgreens stores nationwide.

In the midst of the opioid epidemic, military members have emerged as a particularly vulnerable population. By expanding the focus to serve military communities, the organizations aim to help curb the misuse of medications that, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, is higher among service members than civilians. Through the safe medication disposal kiosks, military communities will now have access to a safe way to dispose of their unwanted or unused prescription medications.

The announcement builds upon the initial 600 safe medication disposal kiosks Walgreens installed beginning in 2016 across 45 states and the District of Columbia. Those kiosks have collected 155 tons of unwanted medications in the first 18 months of the program. With this expansion, the organizations have set a goal to collect an additional 300 tons of unwanted medication in the next two years.

“We are proud to work with organizations from throughout the health care community to make it even easier for people to dispose of their unwanted medications,” said Alex Gourlay, president of Walgreens. “Since launching this program in 2016, we have been truly inspired by the response of the safe medication disposal program from communities around the country. The expansion of this program is a great example of health care organizations coming together in collaboration to address a real health crisis facing the country.”

“As a supply chain partner, we are committed to finding comprehensive solutions to mitigate the opioid epidemic impacting our communities, and we understand the important role we play in helping to combat medication diversion and abuse,” said Bob Mauch, Executive Vice President & Group President, Pharmaceutical Distribution & Strategic Global Sourcing for AmerisourceBergen. “Innovation and collaboration between all parties involved in the delivery and regulation of health care will drive the greatest progress in impacting the opioid crisis, and the diverse partnership supporting the expansion of Walgreens highly successful safe medication disposal program is a strong example of the type of collaboration that’s needed.”

“Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) is proud to support this critical and timely initiative so that more communities across the country will have access to safe medication disposal,” said Kim Holland, vice president of state affairs for BCBSA. “Prescription medications that sit in home medicine cabinets pose a potential safety threat to family members and can be highly susceptible to diversion and misuse. With the escalating opioid crisis, it’s more important than ever to invest in initiatives that focus on prevention and help keep loved ones and communities safe.”

“Pfizer is committed to addressing the prevention, treatment, and effective response to the growing opioid abuse in our country. This partnership reaffirms our support for measures that promote the proper and safe disposal of unwanted medicines to deter prescription drug diversion and to protect the environment,” said Pfizer’s Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall.

A recent survey conducted by Prime revealed people taking opioids may not know how to safely dispose of unused medications. Only 17 percent had spoken with their doctor about safe disposal of unused medicine. Additionally, nearly a quarter of adults keep unused opioids instead of disposing of them, and only 27 percent of those who dispose of old medicine use a take back program to safely dispose of controlled substances. This data reveals there is a need to encourage safe disposal and that more take back locations is one way to promote safety.

“This crisis calls for an all-hands-on-deck approach,” said Jonathan Gavras, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Prime Therapeutics. “Prime is proud to be sponsoring this take back kiosk initiative – as an extension of Prime’s existing Controlled Substances Management Program – because we not only need to monitor for appropriate use, we need to make sure these dangerous medicines don’t fall into the wrong hands. We encourage everyone to go through their medicine cabinets and drop their unwanted medicines safely into a nearby Walgreens kiosk.”

Helping to achieve the goal to collect 300 additional tons of unwanted medication in two years is the #ItEndsWithUs campaign, recently launched by Walgreens to educate teens on the opioid epidemic. The campaign provides teens with online resources to end the opioid epidemic and positive steps they can take within their communities, including how to dispose of unwanted medications. The 900 additional kiosks will be installed over the next 10 months.

Safe medication disposal kiosks allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications, at no cost. The kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies are available during regular pharmacy hours and offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.

About Walgreens

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com), one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 10 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,175 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.

About AmerisourceBergen

AmerisourceBergen provides pharmaceutical products, value-driving services and business solutions that improve access to care. Tens of thousands of healthcare providers, veterinary practices and livestock producers trust us as their partner in the pharmaceutical supply chain. Global pharmaceutical manufacturers depend on us for services that drive commercial success for their products. Powered by our 20,000 associates, we are united in our responsibility to create healthier futures. AmerisourceBergen is ranked #11 on the Fortune 500, with more than $146 billion in annual revenue. The company is headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa. and has a presence in 50+ countries. Learn more at amerisourcebergen.com

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health Indexsm. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit BCBS.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out our blog.

About Pfizer Working together for a healthier world®

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world’s best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, please visit us on www.pfizer.com and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer_News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer.

About Prime Therapeutics

Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime) helps people get the medicine they need to feel better and live well. Prime manages pharmacy benefits for health plans, employers, and government programs including Medicare and Medicaid. The company processes claims and delivers medicine to members, offering clinical services for people with complex medical conditions. Prime serves more than 20 million people. It is collectively owned by 18 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, subsidiaries or affiliates of those plans. For more information, visit www.primetherapeutics.com or follow  on Twitter.

Contact(s):

Phil Caruso
847-315-2962
philip.caruso@walgreens.com

Source: Walgreens

Walgreens recognized for its Safe Medication Disposal program by The California Product Stewardship Council

SAN DIEGO, 2017-Aug-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) today ( August 21, 2017) presented Walgreens with the 2017 Infinity Arrow Award for Service and Take Back in recognition for the company’s Safe Medication Disposal program. Walgreens disposal program, launched last year, is the first ongoing national effort of its kind by a retailer to combat the national drug abuse crisis.

The CPSC recognizes California businesses for outstanding leadership, innovation and partnerships in product stewardship and green design. The Infinity Arrow Award for Service and Take Back recognizes a business that has initiated an outstanding Take Back program for one or more products as an additional convenience and service to their customers.

Walgreens installed safe medication disposal kiosks, available during regular pharmacy hours, in more than 600 pharmacies across 45 states and the District of Columbia, including 53 in California. In its first year, the program has resulted in the collection and disposal of 72 tons of unwanted medication, or the equivalent weight of about 40 midsize cars.

“When it comes to tackling societal problems like drug addiction and water pollution, industries have a key role to play – Walgreens has stepped forward to help fill that role when it comes to the problems of unused and unwanted medicines,” said Heidi Sanborn executive director, California Product Stewardship Council. “Their Safe Medication Disposal program is an excellent example of a company being part of the solution.”

Walgreens safe medication disposal kiosks allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications, at no cost. The kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies are available during regular pharmacy hours and offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.

“Walgreens is taking an important step to curb the misuse of medications throughout the country. We thank the California Product Stewardship Council for recognizing the importance of providing a convenient take back solution,” said Jason Cunningham, Regional Vice President for Walgreens. “As a pharmacy, we are committed to playing a role in what must be a comprehensive solution to prevent prescription drug and opioid abuse.”

Drug abuse continues to be a public health and safety risk. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 6.4 million Americans misused a prescription drug in 2015.

In addition to offering a year-round solution for individuals to dispose of their medications, Walgreens continues to participate in DEA sponsored National Prescription Drug Take Back Days, serving as a collection point in communities for law enforcement to collect unwanted, unused or expired medications for safe disposal.

About CPSC

California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) educates both the public and private sectors about Product Stewardship and closely partners with business, jurisdictions, waste and recycling companies, manufacturers and others to promote and encourage sustainable practices and to recognize those companies who are taking a leadership role in participating in waste reduction and recycling. For more information, please go to: www.CalPSC.org.

About Walgreens

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com), one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 10 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,175 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.

Contact(s):
CPSC Contact:
Dan Howells
CPSC Assistant Director
202-306-8966
dan@calpsc.org

Walgreens Contact:
Phil Caruso
Walgreens media relations
847- 315-2962
philip.caruso@walgreens.com

Source: Walgreens