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CVS Health Expands Safe Drug Disposal at CVS Pharmacy Locations in Arizona to Help Combat Opioid Abuse

June 20, 2018 | Pharmacy

CVS Health also announces two grants awarded to Arizona non-profits as part of a $2 million national commitment to fund opioid recovery programs

PHOENIX, June 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today that the company 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 attended the launch of the program at a Phoenix CVS Pharmacy location.

"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."

"Reducing access to prescription drugs is a key component in preventing opioid abuse," said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "I commend companies like CVS for stepping up and providing these public disposal boxes at a time when our community needs it."

The 13 new medication disposal units installed in CVS Pharmacy locations across the state supplement the units CVS Health has donated to local law enforcement departments in Kingman, Tolleson and Wellton. Nationwide, the company has donated nearly 900 units to police departments, collecting more than 350,000 pounds, or 158 metric tons, of unwanted medication.

In addition to a $2 million national commitment to support addiction recovery in community health centers nationwide through the CVS Health Foundation, CVS Health also said it is awarding grants to two Arizona non-profit organizations working to fight and prevent opioid abuse. ICAN, a family-centered youth service organization in Chandler is receiving a $25,000 grant to support the organization's Substance Abuse Prevention program. This program begins teaching youth as early as age five to develop the skills and confidence to make positive life choices, including resisting misuse of prescription drugs. ICAN uses five separate evidence-based curricula throughout the year, which are proven to successfully develop resiliency in youth. 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.

The extension of CVS Health's safe medication disposal program in Arizona is part of the expansion of 750 safe medication disposal units to CVS Pharmacy locations across the U.S. and other enhancements to the company's strategy to address and prevent opioid abuse, announced in September 2017. As part of that effort, the company also said it would enhance opioid utilization management aligned with the CDC Guideline for CVS Caremark clients and members, complementing measures already in place. This work builds on ongoing programs the company operates including the Pharmacists Teach program, which brings CVS Pharmacists to local schools to talk to teens and parents about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs. Nearly 400,000 teens nationally including more than 12,000 in Arizona have already participated in the program. CVS Health has also worked to expand access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone in 46 states, including Arizona.

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

Media Contacts:

Erin Shields Britt
Corporate Communications
(401) 770-9237

Amy Lanctot
Corporate Communications
(401) 770-2931