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Our opioid response

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

CVS Health® has made a commitment to help address the 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, 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 3,900 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 misuse 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

Patients and colleagues can report suspected inappropriate or illegitimate dispensing, prescribing or diversion of controlled substances, violations of CVS policies and/ or procedures, other applicable law, or the terms of any  agreement between CVS Health and any state or federal entity by calling the CVS Health Ethics Line anonymously and toll-free at 1-877-CVS-2040 (1-877-287-2040;TTY:711) or visit the Ethics Line page.1

Aetna has also employed a comprehensive strategy to fight opioid misuse, with the goal to drastically reduce overprescribing and misuse.

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

Our ongoing opioid misuse prevention efforts and enterprise initiatives are supported by all parts of the company — including our CVS Pharmacy retail presence in over 9,000 communities across the country, CVS Caremark, our PBM that manages medications for more than 90 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.

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Number of safe medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy stores and donated to police departments


Number of lives reached by the "Dose of Knowledge" collaboration with Discovery Education and our Pharmacists Teach program since their inception


Number of states and District of Columbia where naloxone is available without a prescription

> $12 million

Amount in grants to fund opioid misuse prevention and treatment programs

How we’re focused on you

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 misuse prevention.  

We recognize the importance of tackling opioid misuse 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.

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.

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.

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

1 Outside of the U.S., dial the AT&T Direct access code for the country from which you are calling, followed by 877-287-2040AT&T Direct access codes can be found here or by contacting your local operator.