CVS Health issued the following announcement on Oct. 23.
Adding Drug Collection Units in 29 CVS Pharmacy Locations Across the State
Company to Introduce In-Home Safe Medication Disposal Solution at No Cost
Attorney General Josh Kaul, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Take Back My Meds MKE Highlight Importance of Proper Drug Disposal
In its continuing commitment to help build healthier communities, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced the expansion of its safe medication disposal program, giving customers access to safer, easier and more convenient drug disposal options at every CVS Pharmacy location in Wisconsin at no cost.
As part of its expanded efforts, the company announced the installation of 29 safe medication disposal kiosks in select CVS Pharmacy locations across Wisconsin, adding to the 5 in-store units previously installed and the 48 units donated to local law enforcement. Nationwide, more than 1,700 CVS Pharmacy locations have safe medication disposal and the company has donated more than 990 kiosks to law enforcement. Through this national effort more than 1.1 million pounds of unwanted or expired medication has been collected, including 47,000 pounds in Wisconsin alone.
CVS Health also announced that beginning in 2020, all CVS Pharmacy locations that do not currently have a safe medication disposal kiosk will offer DisposeRx packets at no cost to patients filling an opioid prescription for the first time. According to the manufacturer, when water and the DisposeRx powder are added to a pill bottle with unwanted prescription medications the combination produces a biodegradable gel, allowing for safe disposal at home.
"When patients leave unused medications – especially opioids – in a medicine cabinet, there is a risk that those medications might be misused or diverted, which is why we have worked to help increase access to and awareness of safe medication disposal options in the communities we serve," said Tom Moriarty, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer and General Counsel for CVS Health. "Providing more options for the proper disposal of unused medications in our stores and in the home is just one of the ways we're working to help combat opioid misuse across the country."
CVS Health unveiled its safe medication disposal expansion plans, including a commitment to install an additional 1,000 drug disposal kiosks in select CVS Pharmacy locations across the country and donate up to 400 additional units to local police departments in 2020, during an event inside a CVS Pharmacy location in Milwaukee with state, county and local officials and community health organizations.
"The opioid epidemic continues to plague our neighborhoods. By properly disposing of unused medications at drug drop boxes around the state, we can prevent diversion and addiction," said Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul. "I commend everyone who is working to make it easier for families to get rid of unneeded medications."
"Everyone has a role to play in the safety, security and well-being of our community, and drop boxes for unused medicine are a great example of how we can help turn the tide in our fight against the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic in Milwaukee County," said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. "CVS has always been a great community partner, and I want to thank them for providing more places for the safe and proper disposal of unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications. The safe disposal of addictive pills in drop boxes not only means they are out of our medicine cabinets when they are no longer needed; it means they are no longer being flushed and at risk of tainting Lake Michigan."
Additionally, nearly 100 CVS Pharmacy locations will join other community sites throughout the country in hosting drug take-back events to further promote the safe disposal of unwanted medication on Saturday, October 26, which marks National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, a biannual event hosted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
"We applaud CVS Pharmacy for providing more options for the proper disposal of unused medications, here in Milwaukee and across the country," said Jon Richards, coalition director of Take Back My Meds MKE. "These programs can help combat prescription drug and opioid misuse and is just one of the ways that organizations like ours are working to help the people of Milwaukee County."
CVS Health's commitment to helping prevent and address prescription drug misuse also extends to community education and increasing access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone.
The company's Pharmacists Teach program brings CVS pharmacists into schools across the country to talk to students and parents about the dangers of prescription drug misuse. More than 500,000 students and parents across the country have participated in the program.
Additionally, CVS Pharmacy has worked with all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico to increase access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone, also known as Narcan. Patients can obtain this potentially life-saving medication, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, without an individual prescription in all CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide.
To learn more about CVS Health's efforts to combat prescription drug misuse, visit our website.
About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,800 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 94 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.
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