Prescription Drug Abuse

Safe Medication Disposal Program Expands in Ohio

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08.29.19
Our new Ohio disposal units were rolled out at a recent event at a CVS Pharmacy in Toledo, which was attended by city officials, including Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz (far left) and Police Chief George Kral (far right).

Our enterprise-wide efforts to help prevent the misuse and abuse of opioids nationwide include making safe disposal options for unused or unwanted medications readily accessible to all of our CVS Pharmacy customers.

That’s why we’re working to expand our safe medication disposal program to more locations nationwide, include, most recently, in Ohio, where we added disposal units in 53 CVS Pharmacy stores in communities across the state, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown.

“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 William Cuffari, R.Ph., and District Leader for CVS Pharmacy. “Providing more options for the proper disposal of unused medications is just one of the ways that CVS Health is working to help combat opioid misuse, in Ohio and across the country.”

This most recent expansion brings the total disposal units in CVS Pharmacy stores in Ohio to 82. Nationwide, we’ve installed more than 1,300 in-store safe medication disposal units, and donated more than 970 units to community organizations like police departments.

We will continue to roll out additional safe medication disposal units across the country through the end of 2019, as part of a commitment announced at the end of last year to help provide more disposal options in our communities. We’ve also partnered with Google Maps to make it easier for consumers to find year-round medication disposal options.

Our safe medication disposal program is just one of many ways we’re working with local communities to help prevent and address prescription misuse. Our Pharmacists Teach program brings CVS pharmacists to schools across the country to talk to students and parents about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. More than 500,000 students across the country, including over 19,000 in Ohio, have participated in the program.

We’ve worked with 48 states including Ohio and Washington, DC 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 these states.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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We All Have a Role to Play in Safe Medication Disposal

We All Have a Role to Play in Safe Medication Disposal
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04.25.19

This article was authored by Tom Davis, R.Ph., vice president of professional services for CVS Health.

I know too well the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse for individuals and families. That’s one reason I am proud of the work we do every day at CVS Health to help combat opioid misuse as part of our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.

Too often medicines that were once needed go unused and are left in the home where they might be diverted and misused. In fact, medicine cabinets are a major source of diverted prescription opioids,https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30849719 which is why it is important for individuals to be aware of the safe medication disposal options available in their communities.

Supporting Medication Disposal Locally

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a good reminder of the importance of disposing of unused and unwanted medications. In addition to select CVS Pharmacy locations serving as sites for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s take-back events across 27 states, CVS Pharmacy is helping to provide options where consumers can conveniently locate and access safe disposal locations year round.

Every day, consumers can dispose of unused or unwanted medicines at CVS Pharmacy stores and community locations across the country. We have installed safe medication disposal units to make disposal options more accessible in more than 1,000 CVS Pharmacy locations and have donated 950 additional units to community locations such as police departments.

Together, these units have collected more than 324 metric tons, or 715,000 pounds, of unused or unwanted medications that might otherwise have been diverted, misused or ended up in our water supply. That amounts to the approximate weight of a 747 jetliner. An additional 900 safe medication disposal units are planned to roll out in CVS Pharmacy stores in states across the country by the end of 2019.

Through our partnership with Google Maps, consumers can quickly search “drug drop off near me” in Google to locate permanent disposal locations in their community, such as a CVS Pharmacy or government buildings.

A Multifaceted Approach to Helping Combat Opioid Misuse

Our safe medication disposal program is just one part of our multi-pronged strategy to help prevent opioid misuse. As one of the 30,000 pharmacists at CVS Health, I am especially passionate about helping people understand the risks of prescription drug misuse. 

One example of how our pharmacists are doing just that is Pharmacists Teach. An innovative prevention education program, Pharmacists Teach connects our pharmacists to local schools to talk with students and parents about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs, using a curriculum developed with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. We have reached nearly 475,000 students and parents nationwide through the program.

In addition, our pharmacists also provide counseling to patients who are new to an opioid prescription. In line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline, this counseling educates patients on use, risks, storage and disposal at an important point in time, before they start on their medication.

Reducing the amount of unnecessary opioids prescribed can also help reduce the potential for misuse. To that end, CVS Health is implementing utilization strategies to help.  

  • In line with the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, we have implemented programs to help pharmacy benefit management clients reduce opioid utilization for Caremark members. To date, for clients adopting our utilization management criteria, the number of prescriptions covered for more than a 7-day supply decreased by 71.9 percent. Among those clients, the number of prescriptions covered for a 7-day supply or less is now 94.3 percent.

  • Aetna, a CVS Health business unit, is making progress in its five-year plan to help fight opioid misuse through prevention, intervention and patient support programming. In the first year of its strategy, Aetna has seen an approximately 60 percent increase in the rate of treatment with non-opioid interventions in members with chronic pain. The rate of opioid prescriptions written for seven or more days after an acute procedure decreased about 50 percent.

We’re making real progress in our efforts to help combat the misuse of prescription drugs, through our own programs and by collaborating in the community. And together, we’ll continue our work to help make a difference in building safer, healthier communities.

For more information about our efforts in the fight against opioid abuse, visit Our Commitment to Fight Opioid Abuse and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

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Taking Steps to Address Opioid Misuse and Abuse

Taking Steps to Address Opioid Misuse and Abuse
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10.23.19

Too many people have been impacted by opioid abuse. CVS Health serves patients in communities all across the country, and we are dedicated to helping make a difference.

We have made an enterprise-wide commitment to help address the abuse and misuse of prescription opioids by designing programs that increase access to safe medication disposal, encourage appropriate utilization, educate patients at the pharmacy and teens and parents in communities, expand access to life-saving antidotes, and support local recovery programs.

Increasing Access to Safe Disposal

Disposal of unwanted or unused medications locally reduces the likelihood of misuse or diversion. Through our in-store efforts, we increased access to safe medication disposal sites, completing installation of 1,700 disposal units in CVS Pharmacy locations. Combined with more than 990 units donated to local law enforcement, we have facilitated placement of nearly 3,000 units nationwide. In total, these units have collected more than 1.1 million pounds of unwanted medication.

And starting in 2020, all CVS Pharmacy locations that do not offer a safe medication disposal kiosk will offer DisposeRx, a no-cost solution that enables patients to safely discard their unwanted or expired medications at home.

Encouraging Appropriate Utilization

Reducing the amount of unnecessary opioids prescribed can help reduce the potential for abuse. CVS Caremark has implemented criteria to help adopting clients manage opioid utilization in a manner consistent with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guideline. For clients adopting this utilization management criteria, the number of prescriptions covered for more than a 7-day supply decreased by 72 percent. Among those clients, the number of prescriptions covered for a 7-day supply or less is now 94.3 percent.

Expanding Access to Life-Saving Antidotes

The opioid overdose-reversal drug, naloxone, can help save lives. CVS Pharmacy has implemented an industry-leading program to increase access to naloxone in all 50 states, where patients do not require an individual prescription. Following the Surgeon General's Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose in April 2018, we have further expanded our efforts to educate patients about naloxone. Today, 9,800 CVS Pharmacy locations have in-store signage to educate patients about the availability and accessibility of the life-saving drug.

Educating Patients and Communities

For retail pharmacy patients new to an opioid prescription, our pharmacist-led patient counseling provides guidance on safe opioid use and the dangers of addiction. In communities nationwide, our pharmacists educate on use, risks, storage and disposal in line with the CDC Guideline.

This counseling builds on our own pharmacist-led prevention education program, Pharmacists Teach, which has educated more than 500,000 teens and parents on the dangers of teens misusing prescription drugs since 2015.

Supporting Local Recovery Programs

CVS Health is supporting local recovery programs to improve access to recovery and treatment options in local communities. The program will reach nearly 350,000 patients and support 115 physicians working to increase access to medication assisted treatment.

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CVS Health Expands Youth Drug Abuse Prevention Efforts for the 2016-2017 School Year

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09.19.16

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Sept. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced it will expand its commitment to preventing drug abuse among young people through investments in two prevention education programs. The CVS Health Foundation will launch a new partnership with DoSomething.org to create a peer-to-peer prevention and intervention program delivered to young people via text message and online. CVS Health is also renewing its successful Pharmacists Teach program, which connects CVS pharmacists to local high school students in their communities to discuss the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Entering its second year, the program has already reached more than 100,000 students across the country.

"As a pharmacy innovation company, we care deeply about preventing drug abuse among young people and we are proud of these unique programs that will make a meaningful difference for so many teens and their families," said Helena Foulkes, President, CVS Pharmacy. "We have seen tremendous enthusiasm from our CVS pharmacists, who have volunteered to speak to more than 100,000 students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse as part of our Pharmacists Teach program, which will continue into this new school year. And, we are pleased to expand on our abuse prevention efforts with a new program to reach young people digitally through our partnership with DoSomething.org."

Launching this fall, the CVS Health Foundation's campaign with DoSomething.org, an organization focused on empowering young people to take action to address meaningful social causes, will activate youth to combat prescription drug abuse and misuse. The text message experience will counter the perception that prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs, teach behaviors that guard against abuse, prepare young people to confront their peers about abuse and challenge the misconception that prescription drug abuse and misuse is normal. The campaign is designed to reach millions of young people through text, email, social media, youth-focused marketing and PSAs.

"DoSomething.org is committed to giving young people ways to take action on important issues that they care about," said Aria Finger, CEO at DoSomething.org. "We're thrilled that CVS Health is making it a priority as a company to address such an important issue and that we're partnering to equip young people with the tools they need to talk to their friends and family members about the misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers."

CVS Health is also continuing the Pharmacists Teach program it launched last fall into the 2016-2017 school year. Through this program, school administrators and teachers across the country can work with the company to arrange for local CVS pharmacists to speak to high school-aged students. The Pharmacists Teach presentation, developed in coordination with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, educates students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and teaches them that one choice can change everything in their lives.

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 80 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, 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

Mary Alfieri
Corporate Communications
(401) 770-9811
Mary.Alfieri@CVSHealth.com

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SOURCE CVS Health

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Medication Disposal Units Installed in CVS Pharmacy Locations in Arizona

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12.11.18
CVS Health Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer Thomas Moriarty speaks at the Arizona launch event.
Moriarty and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich show off one of the state’s new safe medication disposal units.
State officials and CVS colleagues were in attendance to celebrate the program expansion.

CVS Health has expanded its safe medication disposal program to select CVS Pharmacy locations in Arizona to help facilitate proper and timely disposal of opioids and other medications that could be diverted or misused if left in medicine cabinets.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and CVS Health’s Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer Thomas M. Moriarty attended the launch of the program in Phoenix, Arizona, in June.

"Every day, our pharmacy teams see firsthand the impact of the alarming and rapidly growing epidemic of opioid addiction and misuse," said Thomas M. Moriarty, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, CVS Health. "Expanding our safe medication disposal efforts here in Arizona is an extension of the many initiatives in place across our company to fight the opioid abuse epidemic and fulfill our purpose of helping people on their path to better health."

CVS Health also announced two grants awarded to Arizona non-profits to fund opioid recovery programs. ICAN, a family-centered youth service organization in Chandler is receiving a $25,000 grant to support the organization's Substance Abuse Prevention program. Additionally, El Rio Health in Tucson, Arizona's largest federally qualified community health center, will receive $85,000 to provide prescribers with support and education to appropriately and effectively manage their patients experiencing chronic pain and substance use.

These grants were made in addition to a previous $2 million national commitment the CVS Health Foundation made in support of Federally-qualified community health centers to increase access to medication-assisted treatment and other recovery services.

For more information about our efforts in the fight against opioid abuse, visit Our Commitment to Fight Opioid Abuse and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

CVS Health colleagues and Arizona state officials pose with a safe drug disposal unit
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Partnering with Google Maps to Promote Safe Medication Disposal

Partnering with Google Maps to Promote Safe Medication Disposal
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02.27.19

Expired, unwanted or unused prescriptions can often be found in medicine cabinets in homes across the U.S. To decrease the chances that these medicines are misused, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that they are removed from the home as quickly as possible – preferably through a drug take-back event or permanent disposal location.Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should Know. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/buyingusingmedicinesafely/ensuringsafeuseofmedicine/safedisposalofmedicines/ucm186187.htm

As part of our enterprise-wide strategy to prevent opioid abuse, CVS Health is committed to expanding access to permanent medication disposal options in communities nationwide. Every day, consumers can dispose of unused or unwanted medicines at CVS Pharmacy stores and community locations across the country

Driving Awareness through Disposal Partnerships

At CVS Health, we believe that increasing public awareness of disposal locations can have a meaningful impact in helping to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs found in the home. That’s why we’re proud to partner with Google Maps to make it easier for consumers to find year-round medication disposal options.

Through a pilot effort, consumers can quickly search “drug drop off near me” in Google to locate permanent disposal locations in their community, such as a CVS Pharmacy or government buildings. This new search functionality will help build on the momentum of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events hosted by the U.S. Drug and Enforcement Administration (DEA), providing an efficient way to identify permanent locations. Currently, the DEA and Google Maps are working to expand the pilot through additional location data. 

Our new partnership with Google Maps expands our existing collaborations to help ensure that consumers know how to conveniently locate safe and reliable disposal locations.

Improving Access to Safe, Reliable Disposal Units

Safe disposal is an important element in combatting drug abuse nationwide. To date, our disposal units have collected more than 305 metric tons, or 675,000 pounds, of unwanted medication. And as part of our ongoing commitment to protecting the communities that we serve, we recently committed to placing an additional 1,100 disposal units in CVS Pharmacy locations and local police departments by the end of 2019.

For more information about our efforts in the fight against opioid abuse, visit Our Commitment to Fight Opioid Abuse and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

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Tackling the Opioid Epidemic at the Community Level

Tackling the Opioid Epidemic at the Community Level
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12.05.18

With a presence in nearly 10,000 communities across the United States, CVS Health recognizes the importance of fighting the opioid epidemic at the local level, with local solutions.

That’s why, among the many ways CVS Health is working to mitigate the epidemic, we have committed funding to organizations across the country to support prevention, treatment and recovery efforts.

Supporting Community Health Centers Nationwide

In September 2017, CVS Health announced an enterprise-wide, multi-pronged approach to help find solutions to the national opioid abuse epidemic. Those efforts included the nationwide expansion of our drug disposal collection program, an increase in the availability of naloxone without a prescription and the enhancement of our pain medication utilization management program to ensure prescription opioids are used properly.

Also included was a $2-million commitment by the CVS Health Foundation, to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), to increase access to medication-assisted treatment and other recovery services at community health centers around the country. To-date, we have funded more than 20 community health centers through this program.

Among the recipients of that grant support were:

  • Total Health Care in Baltimore, a community health center dedicated to supporting opioid addiction recovery was awarded $85,000 to develop and implement a trauma informed care model which will increase participation in its substance abuse treatment program.

  • The Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, received $80,000 to develop a protocol to train their team on the screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) approach to addiction. SBIRT is an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce and prevent misuse and abuse of alcohol and drugs.

  • Four California community health centers received a total of $330,000 to increase access to opioid addiction treatment and recovery services.

Expanding Community-Level Support

In addition, CVS Health has awarded grants to several other non-profit organizations nationwide that are tackling this public health challenge.

These grant recipients include:

  • Three New Hampshire non-profit organizations received $60,000 in grants to address and prevent opioid abuse.

  • New Jersey-based Morris Country Prevention Is Key was given funding from CVS Health to host two peer recovery specialist training cohorts. The training provided 55 specialists the opportunity to share knowledge in one-on-one, group, emergency room and correctional facility interventions, as well as become law enforcement response assistants throughout the state.

  • In Ohio, two clinics – Neighborhood Family Practice in Cleveland and Rocking Horse Children’s Health Center in Springfield – received a total of $100,000 for programs supporting patients and families struggling with substance abuse.

  • Two Arizona non-profit organizations, ICAN and El Rio Health, received a total of $115,000 from CVS Health to support their prevention and medication education programs.

  • And in CVS Health’s home community of Rhode Island, where the company’s corporate headquarters are located, opioid-related grants have been awarded to the United Way, Community Care Alliance, the Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team, RI PBS, and Bradley Hospital.

CVS Health is committed to helping put an end to the national opioid abuse epidemic, in part by connecting those who are struggling with addiction with the resources they need to regain good health. In supporting community partners through grants like these, CVS Health is working to expand access to the community-level prevention, treatment and recovery programs that serve as the frontline in this crisis.

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CVS Pharmacy Completes Rollout of Time Delay Safes in All of Its Maryland Pharmacies

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10.16.18

New safes for controlled substances will help combat opioid epidemic, reduce robbery incidents

All 228 CVS Pharmacy locations in Maryland area now using time-delay safe technology

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), announced today that it has completed the rollout of time delay safes in all of its 228 CVS Pharmacy locations in Maryland. The safes will help prevent pharmacy robberies and combat the ongoing opioid epidemic by helping to prevent diversion of controlled substance narcotic medications by keeping them out of the hands of unauthorized individuals. In addition, the safes will help CVS Pharmacy ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and employees.

Controlled substance narcotic medications that are sought after by robbers, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, are now stored in time delay safes in every CVS Pharmacy in the state of Maryland. Time delay safes help deter pharmacy robberies by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to be able to open the safe. CVS Pharmacy first implemented time delay safes in Indianapolis, a city experiencing a high volume of pharmacy robberies, in 2015. The company saw a 70 percent decline in pharmacy robberies among the Indianapolis stores where the time delay safes had been installed.

"Pharmacy robberies are a challenging issue for every pharmacy and we are committed to doing all we can to reduce the number of pharmacy robbery incidents in our Maryland stores," said Roger Francis, Division Vice President of CVS Pharmacy in Maryland. "In other parts of the country we have seen that time delay safes, combined with the other security policies and procedures in place at our stores, can greatly reduce these incidents. We are pleased to roll out time delay safes here in Maryland to help ensure that our pharmacies remain a safe environment for our patients and colleagues."

The time delay function cannot be overridden and is designed to serve as a deterrent to would-be pharmacy robbers whose goal is to enter and exit their robbery targets as quickly as possible. All CVS Pharmacy locations with time delay safes display highly-visible signage to inform the public that time delay safes are in use to prevent on-demand access to controlled substance narcotics.

The implementation of time delay safes across all CVS Pharmacy locations in Maryland is the latest in a series of measures put in place by CVS Health to help combat prescription drug abuse in the state. CVS Health's commitment to preventing and addressing prescription drug abuse extends to community education, efforts to encourage safe disposal of unused medication and increasing access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone. The company's Pharmacists Teach program brings CVS Pharmacists to schools across the country to talk to students and parents about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. More than 405,000 students across the country, including more than 5,600 in Maryland, have participated in the program.

CVS Health has also completed installation of 19 safe medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy stores in Maryland, in addition to the three units it has donated to Maryland law enforcement agencies. Nationwide, 750 safe medication disposal units have been installed in CVS Pharmacy locations, adding to the more than 900 units the company has donated to law enforcement agencies. In total, the company has facilitated more than 1,650 units nationwide, which have collected more than 480,000 pounds, or 2017 metric tons of unwanted medication, including more than 6,000 pounds, or nearly three metric tons in Maryland alone. Increasing community access to safe medication disposal helps rid homes of unused medications that could otherwise be diverted, abused or contaminate the water supply if disposed of improperly.

Additionally, CVS Health has worked with 48 states including Maryland to increase access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone, also known as Narcan. Patients can obtain this life-saving medication, which is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses, without an individual prescription in these states.

About CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with over 9,800 locations. It is the first national pharmacy to end the sale of tobacco and the first pharmacy in the nation to receive the Community Pharmacy accreditation from URAC, the leading health care accreditation organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. 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 is available at http://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact:

Amy Lanctot
(401) 770-2931
Amy.Lanctot@CVSHealth.com

SOURCE CVS Pharmacy

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CVS Health Encourages Consumers to Safely Dispose of Prescription Drugs Ahead of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 27

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10.15.18

More than 1,670 community and CVS Pharmacy locations and hundreds of events provide convenient disposal options for medicine cabinet cleanout

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is encouraging consumers to clean out their medicine cabinets and safely dispose of unused prescription medication on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, this October 27. CVS Health has installed safe medication disposal units in more than 750 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide and has donated more than 900 additional units to community locations such as police departments. Together, these units have collected more than 217 metric tons, or 480,000 pounds, of unwanted medication. Additionally, on October 27, nearly 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. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is hosted biannually by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to provide an opportunity for Americans to help prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

"CVS Health is dedicated to helping address and prevent prescription drug abuse and misuse, which is why we have worked to increase access to and awareness of safe medication disposal options in the communities we serve," 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. We are proud to have supported the collection of more than 480,000 pounds of unwanted medication to date, getting it out of homes and disposed of safely, and we are looking forward to adding to that achievement."

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescriptions and often obtained them from family and friends. In-home medicine cabinets are often the source of diverted prescriptions, making it critical for patients to properly dispose of unused prescriptions in a timely manner to prevent prescription misuse and diversion.

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 48 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 400,000 students and parents nationwide have participated in the program.

Additionally, as a Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) and a retail pharmacy, CVS Health has implemented programs to help its clients reduce opioid utilization for members when clinically appropriate and strengthened retail pharmacist-led patient counseling on safe opioid use. These programs align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

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 approximately 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.

Media Contact:

Erin Shields Britt
(401) 770-9237
Erin.Britt@CVSHealth.com

Amy Lanctot
(401) 770-2931
Amy.Lanctot@CVSHealth.com

SOURCE CVS Health

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CVS Pharmacy Completes Rollout of Time Delay Safes in All Washington, DC Pharmacy Locations

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10.16.18

New time delay safe technology in use for controlled substances will help combat opioid epidemic, reduce robbery incidents

All 55 CVS Pharmacy locations in the District of Columbia now using time delay safes

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), announced today that it has completed the rollout of time delay safes in all of its 55 CVS Pharmacy locations in Washington, DC. The safes will help prevent pharmacy robberies and combat the ongoing opioid epidemic by helping to prevent diversion of controlled substance narcotic medications by keeping them out of the hands of unauthorized individuals. In addition, the safes will help CVS Pharmacy ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and employees.

Controlled substance narcotic medications that are sought after by robbers, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, are now stored in safes using time delay technology in every CVS Pharmacy in the District of Columbia. Time delay safes help deter pharmacy robberies by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to be able to open the safe. CVS Pharmacy first implemented time delay safes in Indianapolis, a city experiencing a high volume of pharmacy robberies, in 2015. The company saw a 70 percent decline in pharmacy robberies among the Indianapolis stores where the time delay safes had been installed.

"Pharmacy robberies are a challenging issue for every pharmacy and we are committed to doing all we can to reduce the number of pharmacy robbery incidents in our Washington, DC stores," said Roger Francis, Division Vice President of CVS Pharmacy. "In other parts of the country we have seen that time delay safes, combined with the other security policies and procedures in place at our stores, can greatly reduce these incidents. We are pleased to roll out time delay safes here in the District of Columbia to help ensure that our pharmacies remain a safe environment for our patients and colleagues."

The time delay function cannot be overridden and is designed to serve as a deterrent to would-be pharmacy robbers whose goal is to enter and exit their robbery targets as quickly as possible. All CVS Pharmacy locations with time delay safes display highly-visible signage to inform the public that time delay safes are in use to prevent on-demand access to controlled substance narcotics.

The implementation of time delay safes across all CVS Pharmacy locations in Washington, DC is the latest in a series of measures put in place by CVS Health to help combat prescription drug abuse in the District. CVS Health's commitment to preventing and addressing prescription drug abuse extends to community education, efforts to encourage safe disposal of unused medication and increasing access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone. The company's Pharmacists Teach program brings CVS Pharmacists to schools across the country to talk to students and parents about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. More than 405,000 students across the country, including more than 400 in the District, have participated in the program.

CVS Health has also completed installation of three safe medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy stores in Washington, DC. Nationwide, 750 safe medication disposal units have been installed in CVS Pharmacy locations, adding to the more than 900 units the company has donated to law enforcement agencies. In total, the company has facilitated more than 1,650 units nationwide, which have collected more than 480,000 pounds, or 217 metric tons of unwanted medication. Increasing community access to safe medication disposal helps rid homes of unused medications that could otherwise be diverted, abused or contaminate the water supply if disposed of improperly.

About CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with over 9,800 locations. It is the first national pharmacy to end the sale of tobacco and the first pharmacy in the nation to receive the Community Pharmacy accreditation from URAC, the leading health care accreditation organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. 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 is available at http://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact:

Amy Lanctot
(401) 770-2931
Amy.Lanctot@CVSHealth.com

SOURCE CVS Pharmacy

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