WOONSOCKET, R.I., April 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today underscored the company's commitment to helping communities safely dispose of unwanted medications, particularly as an important step in helping to address and prevent opioid abuse and misuse. The company announced its safe medication disposal efforts have collected nearly 350,000 pounds, or 158 metric tons, of unwanted medication. This Saturday, April 28, is the DEA's National Prescription Take-Back Day, during which more than 100 CVS Pharmacy locations will join other community sites around the country to host law enforcement take-back events, allowing the public to safely dispose of unwanted medication.
"CVS Health is dedicated to helping address and prevent opioid abuse in the communities we serve and we know that increasing community access to safe medication disposal is a critical component of that effort," said Tom Davis, R.Ph., Vice President of Professional Services for CVS Pharmacy. "Unused medications, especially opioids, should not be left in medicine cabinets where they could be at risk of misuse or diversion, which is why we are so proud to have supported the collection of nearly 350,000 pounds of unwanted medication, getting it out of homes and disposed of safely."
Last September, as part of a major expansion of its efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, CVS Health announced it would extend its safe medication disposal program to 750 CVS Pharmacy locations this year. The company now has more than 500 of those units installed and expects to complete installation of all units this summer. The CVS Pharmacy disposal locations add to the nearly 900 units CVS Health has donated to local law enforcement to facilitate community drug take-back efforts.
In addition to promoting safe medication disposal, the company is also working to combat the opioid epidemic by increasing access to the opioid overdose drug naloxone. CVS Pharmacy locations in 46 states have standing orders, or similar protocol, which allow patients to obtain this medication without an individual prescription. CVS Health has also focused on opioid abuse prevention through the company's Pharmacists Teach program. This program connects CVS pharmacists to local schools to talk with students and parents about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, using a curriculum CVS Health developed with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. More than 350,000 students and parents nationwide have participated in the program.
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.