WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day being held this Saturday, October 26, CVS/pharmacy today announced the launch of the CVS/pharmacy Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program. The new program is designed to provide police departments across the U.S. with an easy way to team up with CVS/pharmacy locations in their area to hold National Drug Take Back Day events or to help raise community awareness of local drug disposal programs managed by law enforcement.
"We recognize the importance of removing unused, unwanted and expired medications from our communities in a safe and environmentally responsible manner in order to prevent abuse and misuse of these drugs," said Josh Flum, Senior Vice President of Retail Pharmacy at CVS/pharmacy. "Many CVS stores across the country will be hosting local police at Drug Take Back Day events this Saturday. As part of our new Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, we are making our store sites available nationwide to law enforcement agencies to hold Drug Take Back events. Additionally, our stores are well-positioned to help promote awareness of permanent collection site programs run by law enforcement agencies at their police stations and other facilities."
CVS/pharmacy has established a toll free phone number, 1-866-559-8830, and a website, www.cvs.com/safercommunities, for its Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program. Law enforcement agencies can use these channels to arrange future National Drug Take Back Day events at their local CVS/pharmacy locations. Law enforcement agencies which operate their own on-going collection site programs can also arrange to have the address and hours of operations posted in local CVS/pharmacy locations.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was established in 2010 by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies across the country. The events are held twice each year, in the spring and fall, at thousands of locations in the U.S. Since inception, more than 2.8 million pounds of unneeded medications have been collected and destroyed, helping to prevent diversion, misuse, and abuse of the drugs. More information about Drug Take Back Day, including a complete list of event locations on October 26, is available at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.
CVS/pharmacy's participation in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and the new CVS/pharmacy Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program is part of the Company's on-going commitment to combat prescription drug abuse. This commitment also includes:
- Being the only retail pharmacy sponsor of the Medicine Abuse Program, a multi-year initiative of The Partnership at Drugfree.org with the goal of preventing a half million teenagers from abusing prescription medication by the year 2017.
- The Sharps Compliance Takeaway Environmental Return program available at all CVS/pharmacy locations, providing customers with the ability to safely dispose of their unused, expired or unwanted drugs using affordable medication disposal envelopes. The postage-paid envelopes allow customers to mail their unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications through the U.S. Postal Service to a licensed, secure facility for safe destruction. (Controlled substances cannot be disposed of using this program.)
- Ongoing identification of physicians who exhibit extreme patterns of prescribing high risk drugs such as pain medications and suspending the dispensing of controlled substance prescriptions they write.
- Working at the federal and state levels to implement policy changes to curb prescription drug abuse, such as mandatory electronic prescribing of controlled substances and improved prescription drug monitoring programs.
"Our efforts to prevent medication abuse are helping our communities on their path to better health, but we realize that our initiatives are not a comprehensive solution," said Flum. "Defeating the epidemic of prescription drug abuse will require the active involvement of stakeholders throughout the health care community, as well as law enforcement and regulatory agencies. CVS/pharmacy is committed to being part of the solution to this problem."
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with more than 7,500 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drug stores. CVS/pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at http://info.cvscaremark.com.