In its continuing commitment to help build healthier communities, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced the expansion of its safe medication disposal program, giving customers access to safer, easier and more convenient drug disposal options at every CVS Pharmacy location in Ohio at no cost.
As part of its expanded efforts, the company announced the completed installation of 53 safe medication disposal kiosks in select CVS Pharmacy locations in communities across the state, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown, adding to the 29 in-store units previously installed and 38 units donated to local law enforcement. Nationwide, more than 1,700 CVS Pharmacy locations have safe medication disposal and the company has donated more than 990 kiosks to law enforcement. Through this national effort more than 1.1 million pounds of unwanted medication has been collected, including 36,000 pounds in Ohio alone.
CVS Health also announced that beginning in 2020, all CVS Pharmacy locations that do not currently have a safe medication disposal kiosk will offer DisposeRx packets at no cost to patients filling an opioid prescription for the first time. According to the manufacturer, when water and the DisposeRx powder are added to a pill bottle with unwanted prescription medications the combination produces a biodegradable gel, allowing for safe disposal at home.
“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 Jennifer Rudell, District Leader, CVS Health. “Providing more options for the proper disposal of unused medications in our stores and in the home is just one of the ways we’re working to help combat opioid misuse across the country.”
CVS Health unveiled its safe medication disposal expansion plans, including a commitment to install an additional 1,000 drug disposal kiosks in select CVS Pharmacy locations across the country and donate up to 400 units to law enforcement in 2020, during an event inside a CVS Pharmacy location in Dayton with Mayor Nan Whaley and community health organizations.
“The effort to combat opioid misuse continues across the state of Ohio and nationally,” said Dayton, OH Mayor Nan Whaley. “Making sure unused prescription opioids don’t end up in the wrong hands is an important step. I commend CVS Health for making it easier for families to get rid of these dangerous and highly addictive drugs in their stores and through in-home disposal kits.”
Additionally, nearly 100 CVS Pharmacy locations will join other community sites throughout the country in hosting drug take-back events to further promote the safe disposal of unwanted medication on Saturday, October 26, which marks National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, a biannual event hosted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
CVS Health’s commitment to helping prevent and address prescription drug misuse also extends to community education and increasing access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone.
The company’s Pharmacists Teach program brings CVS pharmacists into schools across the country to talk to students and parents about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. More than 500,000 students and parents across the country have participated in the program.
Additionally, CVS Pharmacy has worked with all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico 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.