Our opioid response: Public policy | CVS Health

Our opioid response: Public policy

A pharmacy shelf displaying boxes of naloxone nasal spray.

As a leading stakeholder in health care, CVS Health works with advocacy organizations and elected leaders to recommend new and enhanced policies that will help address opioid misuse and abuse.  

Through this advocacy work, we’ve also been able to offer access to naloxone, the lifesaving opioid overdose-reversal drug, by establishing a standing order or similar protocol at CVS Pharmacy locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This protocol allows patients to obtain naloxone at the pharmacy counter without having to first obtain an individual prescription from a physician.

Additional public policy action we’ve taken includes:

  • CVS Health spearheaded a 2017 joint industry letter to the Trump Administration and key members of Congress. The letter recognized the need for pharmacy care providers to come together to address the opioid epidemic and highlighted the steps companies in the industry have taken, as well as our shared commitment to a public-private partnership to help solve the national health care crisis of opioid abuse.

  • Restrictions on the initial quantity of an opioid that can be prescribed. CVS Health has supported legislation in states around the country that restricts the initial quantity of an opioid that can be prescribed.

  • Support for legislation mandating the electronic transmission of prescriptions. We believe this would reduce the likelihood of diversion through forged or fraudulent hard copy prescriptions.

  • Support for a national prescription drug monitoring program. We believe this would harmonize state requirements and more easily allow states to share data, which could prevent provider shopping across state lines. It would also set uniform expectations for health care providers and law enforcement.