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CVS Health completes nationwide rollout of time delay safes

April 18, 2023 |4 minute read time


Installation completed in Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey and New York

Major milestones reached in safe medication disposal and medication safety education

WOONSOCKET, R.I., April 18, 2023 — CVS Health® (NYSE: CVS) announced today that it has completed the installation of time delay safes in more than 9,000 CVS Pharmacy® locations, including those in Target stores. The latest states and corresponding number of pharmacy locations equipped with time delay safe technology are Florida (838), Hawaii (61), New Jersey (352) and New York (569), marking an important achievement in the company’s ongoing efforts to support law enforcement and build safer communities.

CVS Health has reached two additional milestones related to its efforts to reduce prescription drug abuse. In-store safe medication disposal bins at CVS Pharmacy locations, as well as those donated by the company to local law enforcement agencies, have collected more than five million pounds of expired or unused prescription and over-the-counter medication. Also, the company’s medication safety education programs, Pharmacists Teach and Dose of Knowledge, in partnership with Discovery Education, have reached nearly two million students and parents since 2015.

“We’re committed to helping prevent the abuse and diversion of prescription medications,” said Prem Shah, PharmD, Executive Vice President, CVS Health and Co-President and Chief Pharmacy Officer, CVS Pharmacy. “From innovative education programs to help children understand the importance of medication safety to investing in time delay safe technology in our retail pharmacies, we’re focused on building safer communities.”

CVS Pharmacy completes time delay safe installation

Time delay safe technology helps prevent pharmacy robberies and the potential for associated diversion of controlled substance medications by electronically delaying the time it takes for employees to open the pharmacy safe. In addition, the safes can help deter robberies, improving the safety and well-being of CVS Pharmacy patients, customers and employees.

CVS Health first implemented time delay safe technology in 2015 in CVS Pharmacy locations across Indianapolis, a city that was experiencing a high volume of pharmacy robberies. As a result, the company saw a 70 percent decline in pharmacy robberies in that area. Since then, there has been a 50 percent decline in robberies at CVS Pharmacy locations with the safes.

Safe medication disposal units collect five million pounds of drugs

CVS Pharmacy offers 3,700 safe medication disposal units in select pharmacies. As of April 2023, these medication disposal units, along with those the company has donated to local law enforcement agencies, have collected more than five million pounds of unwanted or expired medications. 

Located in the pharmacy area of a CVS Pharmacy store, the safe medication disposal units allow customers to drop off unused, expired or unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications. The company’s safe medication disposal program furthers the CVS Pharmacy commitment to providing increased year-round access to safer, easier and more convenient options for disposing of unneeded prescription drugs that might otherwise have been diverted, misused, or ended up in the water supply.

CVS Pharmacy locations that do not have a safe medication disposal unit offer DisposeRx, a simple solution that enables customers to safely discard their unwanted or expired medications at home. When water and the solidifying DisposeRx powder are added to unwanted medications in the prescription vial and shaken, the drugs are rendered unusable, allowing for safe disposal.

Medication safety programs touch more than two million lives

As of April 2023, nearly two million students and parents have learned about the dangers of misusing medications through the company’s free prescription drug abuse prevention education programs, Pharmacists Teach and Dose of Knowledge. 

Through Pharmacists Teach, CVS pharmacists work with schools in their communities to help educate children from kindergarten to grade 12 about the dangers of prescription medication misuse and abuse. To further amplify the program’s impact, CVS Health partnered with Discovery Education to expand resources and access through Dose of Knowledge, a program which provides no-cost standards-aligned resources to empower educators and pharmacists to address substance misuse and educate students to make good decisions about their health. The program has resources for parents and students as well.

For downloadable safe medication disposal units and time delay safe media assets, including photos and B-roll footage, please visit the Media Library.

About CVS Health

CVS Health® is the leading health solutions company, delivering care like no one else can. We reach more people and improve the health of communities across America through our local presence, digital channels and over 300,000 dedicated colleagues – including more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and nurse practitioners. Wherever and whenever people need us, we help them with their health – whether that’s managing chronic diseases, staying compliant with their medications or accessing affordable health and wellness services in the most convenient ways. We help people navigate the health care system – and their personal health care – by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. And we do it all with heart, each and every day. Follow @CVSHealth on social media.

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Amy Thibault

Matt Blanchette