A female pharmacists advises an older female patient about her mediation at the pharmacy counter.

Our opioid response

CVS Health has made a commitment to help address the abuse and misuse of prescription opioids by designing programs and collaborating with community leaders, policymakers, law enforcement, health care professionals and others to increase community-based educational programs related to opioid misuse and abuse, create safe prescription drug disposal sites, expand access to life-saving antidotes and advocate for targeted and effective policies, locally and nationally.

Our comprehensive enterprise approach includes:

  • Safe medication disposal units installed in more than 2,800 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide

  • Donated over 1,000 safe medication disposal units to local police departments across the country

  • Pharmacist counseling for patients filling their first opioid prescription

  • Enhanced utilization management for our CVS Caremark clients

  • Community investments to support addiction recovery and prevention

  • Opioid abuse prevention education for teens and parents

  • Access to and advocacy for opioid-overdose reversal medication

  • Ongoing advocacy to promote prescription drug monitoring programs, prescription limitations, and e-prescribing

  • Board-level oversight of our opioid-related safety, programs and initiatives

Aetna has also employed a comprehensive strategy to fight opioid abuse, with the goal by 2020 of drastically reducing overprescribing and misuse.

Aetna’s strategic programs focus on prevention, intervention and support for treatment, including ‘super-prescriber’ interventions to physicians, surgeons and dentists with outlying opioid prescribing habits; Aetna Pharmacy’s Controlled Substance Use programs that identify and intervene with at-risk members; and the Guardian Angel pilot program to identify and outreach to members who recently experienced an opioid-related overdose.

Our ongoing opioid abuse prevention efforts and enterprise initiatives are supported by all parts of the company — including our CVS Pharmacy retail presence in nearly 10,000 communities across the country, CVS Caremark, our PBM that manages medications for more than 100 million plan members — and reach patients, providers, payors, advocacy organizations, elected leaders and community health advocates.

Working in collaboration with these health care stakeholders, CVS Health is committed to helping to address opioid misuse and abuse.

cvs heart

More than

A pictogram of a CVS Pharmacy store.


safe medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy stores and police departments


A pictogram representing a CVS Pharmacy technician.


teens and parents reached through Pharmacists Teach

Naloxone available without a prescription in all

A pictogram of a map of the United States of America.

50 states

and the District of Columbia

More than

A pictogram of prescription and bottle.

$7 million

in grants to fund opioid abuse prevention and treatment programs

How we’re focused on you



Prevention & patient engagement

From in-store programs like our medication disposal units and first-fill counseling to guidelines for opioid utilization management for our prescription benefits members, we’ve taken a proactive approach to opioid abuse prevention.  

Learn more about our prevention and patient engagement efforts



Community initiatives

We recognize the importance of tackling opioid misuse and abuse at the local level, with local solutions. To do that, we’ve launched education programs for teens and parents and committed funding to organizations across the country to support prevention, treatment and recovery efforts.

Learn more about our opioid-focused community initiatives



Public policy

As a leading stakeholder in health care, we work with advocacy organizations and elected leaders to recommend new and enhanced policies that will help prevent opioid misuse and abuse.  

Learn more about our public policy work




Our Board has made our commitment to help address prescription opioid abuse an important priority of CVS Health. Within the Board, the Audit Committee, Medical Affairs Committee, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and the Management Planning and Development Committee each play a significant role in the Board’s oversight efforts.

Learn more about our corporate governance



The Board’s role in our Opioid Action Plan

Our Board is actively engaged in our efforts to address prescription opioid abuse through its oversight and review of the programs we are implementing to respond to prescription opioid abuse and working with our executive team as it develops new strategies to address it.

Read more about the role of our board in our efforts