CVS Health Report Examines Public Perceptions of Opioid Epidemic, Drug Disposal Ahead of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Thursday, April 27, 2017

WOONSOCKET, R.I., April 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today released a new report following a CVS Health-Morning Consult survey which found Americans see prescription drug abuse as a growing problem that is increasingly impacting their lives. Days ahead of the Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, the report also finds that 75 percent of respondents believe the problem of prescription drug abuse is tied to people who take medication prescribed for someone else. At the same time, nearly one in three people report having unused medication in their home and one in five say they or someone they know has had prescription medication stolen from their home.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day occurs this Saturday, April 29, 2017. Nearly 140 CVS Pharmacy locations will be among the many sites across the country accepting unwanted prescription medication. These sites supplement the more than 750 year-round drug disposal locations donated to law enforcement agencies across the country by CVS Health's Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program. The units donated as part of this program have collected more than 80 metric tons, or more than 175,000 pounds, of unwanted medication since the program began in 2014.

"CVS Health is dedicated to addressing and preventing prescription drug abuse in the communities we serve," said Thomas Moriarty, Executive Vice President, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, and General Counsel for CVS Health. "Understanding public perception about the epidemic and factors that contribute to it, including safe and environmentally friendly medication disposal, is key to raising awareness and preventing future abuse. We are proud to partner with law enforcement to encourage drug disposal and prevention this weekend for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and all year long through our Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program."

The CVS Health report also finds nearly one in three people report being personally impacted by the issue of prescription drug abuse and nearly 40 percent say the number of people they know who have been personally impacted by the issue increased in the last year. On the topic of drug disposal, 43 percent of respondents say they have thrown unused or expired medications in the trash, more than any other method indicated in the survey. However, 70 percent of people say they are likely to use conveniently located disposal units to safely get rid of unwanted medication and the same percentage think increasing disposal sites and take back events would be effective in addressing prescription drug abuse.

CVS Health has made resources to educate patients about preventing prescription drug abuse available on CVS.com. Among these resources is a tool patients can use to find a safe medication disposal site available year-round in their local community.

"There are far too many unused prescription drugs in medicine cabinets across the country, opening the door for much of the improper use we've seen," said Gary Mendell, founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a non-profit dedicated to reducing the devastation the disease of addiction causes families. "Shatterproof has worked with doctors, pharmacies, lawmakers and most importantly, patients, to educate them on the dangers of over-prescription and the need for prescription drug monitoring programs. I applaud CVS Health for recognizing this problem and taking action to reduce the number of extra pills and make our communities safer."

CVS Health is also working to address and prevent prescription drug abuse by increasing access to the opioid-overdose reversal medication naloxone in 41 states. Additionally, through the company's Pharmacists Teach program, CVS pharmacists have volunteered to educate more than 230,000 students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and 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.

About CVS Health
CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) 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

Naloxone availability across the United States

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CVS Pharmacy patients in 41 states now have access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug, naloxone.

Follow our commitment to drug abuse prevention as we increase access to the life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug.

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