How healthy food is healing Massachusetts

How healthy food is healing Massachusetts
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Community Servings in Boston, Massachusetts, started in 1990 as a program to feed a small group of AIDS patients suffering from malnutrition. It has turned into a community hub that provides thousands of medically tailored meals each month, job training, and so much more. The COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed their work. In fact, it’s increased demand and CVS Health stepped up to help them hire a temporary workforce of kitchen staff and delivery drivers.

While the restaurant industry continues to struggle, many individuals are going back to work, cooking for their community. The local Plumbers Union donated their trucks and their time to help ramp up deliveries. Over the course of two months, these on-demand solutions helped Community Servings distribute 27,000 entrees to Boys & Girls Clubs, homeless shelters, and others.

David Waters, CEO, points out, “It's the community serving the community. We can accomplish so much together.” In addition to the team featured in the video above, we caught up with COO Kevin Conner, executive chef Brian Hillmer, and Training Kitchen program graduates Ricardo Mercado and Jermaine McNeill, who explain how they make it all happen in this month’s podcast episode.

Tune in and subscribe to our podcast

Listen to Healthy Communities News on the go using your favorite podcast platform.

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CVS Health enhances prescription drug security and disposal in Massachusetts to help promote safer communities

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Completes installation of time delay safe technology in all 446 CVS Pharmacy locations as part of effort to help reduce robbery incidents

Company also adds 50 in-store safe medication disposal units to help combat misuse and diversion of unused medication across the state

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As part of an ongoing commitment to helping build healthier and safer communities, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced the expansion of two initiatives aimed at reducing the potential for misuse and diversion of prescription medications in Massachusetts.

CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health, completed the installation of time delay safe technology in all its 446 Massachusetts locations, including those in Target stores. The safes are anticipated to help prevent pharmacy robberies and the resulting diversion of controlled substance medications, including opioid medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to open the safe. In addition, the safes are anticipated to help CVS Pharmacy ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and employees.

Further enhancing the company's efforts to help prevent opioid diversion and misuse, CVS Pharmacy also announced the addition of 50 new safe medication disposal units placed in select stores throughout Massachusetts. The new units join another 106 secure disposal kiosks previously installed in CVS Pharmacy locations in the state and another 43 units previously donated to Massachusetts law enforcement agencies. CVS Pharmacy plans to install an additional 6 units in stores by year-end.

"While our nation and our company focus on COVID-19 treatment, testing and other measures to prevent community transmission of the virus, the misuse of prescription drugs remains an ongoing challenge in Massachusetts and elsewhere that warrants our continued attention," said John Hering, Region Director for CVS Health. "These steps to reduce the theft and diversion of opioid medications bring added security to our stores and more disposal options for our communities."

"We commend CVS Health for its continued commitment to address the opioid crisis and welcome the expansion of safe and convenient medication disposal in our communities," said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. "We are proud of the progress made in combatting addiction and reducing the rate of opioid related deaths in Massachusetts, and we know this work is as essential as ever especially as we navigate an unprecedented pandemic. We value the strategic alignment and ongoing investment from partners like CVS Health in our collective, continued fight against opioid addiction."

Time delay safes help reduce pharmacy robberies

CVS Health first implemented time delay safe technology in 2015 in CVS Pharmacy locations across Indianapolis, a city experiencing a high volume of pharmacy robberies at the time. The company saw a 70 percent decline in pharmacy robberies among the Indianapolis stores where time delay safes had been installed.

Since then, the company has introduced time delay safes in 4,760 CVS Pharmacy stores across 15 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in a 50 percent decline in robberies at CVS pharmacies in those local communities.

The time delay function cannot be overridden and is designed to serve as a deterrent to would-be pharmacy robbers whose goal is to enter and exit their robbery targets as quickly as possible. All CVS Pharmacy locations in Massachusetts with time delay safes display visible signage warning that time delay safes are in use to prevent on-demand access to controlled substance narcotics.

50 Massachusetts safe medication disposal units added

The expansion of CVS Pharmacy's safe medication disposal program in 50 Massachusetts stores continues the company's commitment to providing increased year-round access to safer, easier and more convenient options for removing unneeded prescription drugs from the home.

"When patients leave unused medications especially opioids in a medicine cabinet, there is a risk they might be misused, diverted or come in contact with unsupervised children, other family members or guests in the home," said Tom Davis, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Services at CVS Health. "It is critical that medications are taken only as prescribed, and we believe safe medication disposal is an important way to help prevent misuse."

In 2020, the company is adding an additional 1,000 in-store safe medication disposal units to the 2,500 units currently in CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. Over the past several years, the company has also donated over 1,000 units to local law enforcement. Together, these existing medication disposal units have collected more than 1.8 million pounds of unwanted medications, including over 90,000 pounds in Massachusetts, that might otherwise have been diverted, misused or ended up in the water supply.

Located in the pharmacy area of the CVS store and similar in design to a postal box, the safe medication disposal units allow customers to drop off unused prescriptions in a container or in sealed plastic bags if liquids or multiple medications are included.

Additionally, CVS Pharmacy locations that do not offer a safe medication disposal kiosk offer DisposeRx packets at no cost to patients filling an opioid prescription for the first time. According to the manufacturer, when warm water and the DisposeRx powder are added to a container, the combination breaks down medications including powders, pills, capsules, tablets, liquids or patches to a non-divertible biodegradable gel, allowing for safe disposal in the trash at home.

Given its national reach and local presence, CVS Health is uniquely positioned to help address prescription opioid misuse and abuse with an enterprise-wide approach. To learn more about CVS Health's efforts, visit the company's Opioid Response website.

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

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings from HealthHUB locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com

Media contact

Joe Goode
401-378-5220
Joseph.Goode@CVSHealth.com

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Addressing food insecurity in local communities

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A volunteer (wearing a face mask) loads temperature-sensitive food into an insulated bag for distribution. A woman in a red coat observes him loading the insulated bag.

Families across the country are facing significant challenges as they work to keep people safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, for many families, these health concerns are coming hand-in-hand with an unfamiliar worry: food insecurity. Lost jobs, reduced incomes and loss of access to school lunches have left many struggling with having enough to eat. Across the country, local nonprofits are stepping up with expanded services and innovative approaches to meet the sudden surge of need in their communities — and CVS Health is joining them to help. CVS Health and The CVS Health Foundation have provided more than $900,000 to organizations in local communities working to provide food to vulnerable populations, especially school-aged children, seniors, and the uninsured.

A $250,000 grant to Feeding America supported efforts to pack and deploy emergency food boxes to high-need areas across the country, including Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New York and Washington. These boxes will help local food banks provide children, families, and seniors with the food and nutrition they need, even as the need for food assistance increases.

A volunteer arranges pre-packaged cooked meals, in sealed containers, on a tray for distribution.

Many other organizations have developed entirely new approaches to respond to the unique needs created by COVID-19 and CVS Health is proud to support this work in the communities we serve. In Kansas City, Missouri, Feed Northland Kids received a grant of $20,000 to develop Community Food Kits. With shelf-stable foods, these kits are provided to families through in-school pantries, which will help address food insecurity among school-age children. And in Austin, Texas, a $25,000 grant to the Central Texas Food Bank helped the organization shift to a drive-through model to allow clients to still receive food while ensuring safety for clients, staff, and volunteers. Safety is a top concern at many nonprofits; Community Servings in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, used a $15,000 grant to streamline operations and continue to distribute more than 2,000 food boxes in April, even without the assistance of the as many as 75 volunteers they previously relied on each day.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented need and continues to present unique challenges in meeting that need. At CVS Health, we’re proud to support the local organizations that are rising to the challenge to continue to feed their communities.

To stay up-to-date on the latest CVS Health Social Responsibility news and content, sign up for email news alerts.

A volunteer (wearing a face mask) loads temperature-sensitive food into an insulated bag for distribution. A woman in a red coat observes him loading the insulated bag.
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Helping fill America’s food pantries

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Bags of food collected at the Hockomock area YMCA in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

Heather once visited a food bank for her elderly neighbors. Now, she needs help feeding her family. She’s not alone.

Heather, a married mother of two, rolled down her car window, took a deep breath for courage and quietly asked the masked volunteer for an extra bag of free food.

Over the past few weeks, Heather picked up bags from the makeshift food bank at the Attleboro area Hockomock YMCA in Franklin, Massachusetts to deliver to her elderly neighbors. But today was different.

Heather was unexpectedly furloughed from her job due to COVID-19-related shutdowns — and now her own family needed help. As she took the bag full of food from the YMCA employee, she says relief spread though her body with the knowledge that her kids would have a healthy dinner that night.

“I was worried I would have to feed my kids boxed macaroni and cheese, but the bag was full of fruits and vegetables,” Heather says.

Heather’s experience with food insecurity is one of many playing out across America in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. According to an April 2020 survey from Feeding America, a national nonprofit organization with a network of more than 200 food banks and 60,000 partner organizations, an estimated 40% of people seeking donations were visiting a food bank for the first time in their life. Equally concerning: 95% of its food banks saw more people needing help compared to last year, with an average 70% increase in demand for food assistance.

Hockomock area YMCA Board Chairman Mary Clermont and President Ed Hurley loading food into a vehicle.
Attleboro, Massachusetts, Hockomock area YMCA Board Chairman Mary Clermont and President Ed Hurley load food. On a recent Wednesday, 780 bags were picked up.

Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy at CVS Health, says the crisis took America by surprise and created a need for basic food and necessities in a way the country has never experienced before.

Because nearly 60% of a person’s life expectancy is influenced by social determinants of health — such as food insecurity — CVS Health has made community health and wellness central to its corporate social responsibility. The company provided a $1 million donation to support community and employee needs amid the pandemic, including $250,000 to support Feeding America.

Food insecurities also create added COVID vulnerability for the country’s most at-risk citizens — those with fewer resources, chronic health conditions and less mobility. “Food and health are closely linked, making it essential for us to help those facing food insecurity,” says Boone. “We have supported organizations of all sizes to help address that need quickly and efficiently. We are really all in this together.”

For Heather, CVS Health’s commitment is life-changing.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

Bags of food collected at the Hockomock area YMCA in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
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CVS Health delivering on commitment to establish up to 1,000 COVID-19 test sites by end of May

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First phase will see drive-thru sites open across five states this week; more than 900 additional sites will open over next two weeks

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Building on the company’s comprehensive efforts to help slow the spread of the virus, on Friday, May 15 CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) will open more than 50 COVID-19 test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The opening of hundreds of additional test sites across the country will be announced over the next two weeks.

The new sites will utilize self-swab tests and mark the next phase of the company’s COVID-19 testing strategy, announced April 27 at the White House. CVS Health expects to have up to 1,000 locations across the country offering this service by the end of May, with the goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity. The company currently operates large-scale rapid test sites in coordination with five states, which can process a total of nearly 30,000 tests per week.

"While the large-scale test sites we’ve been operating since early April have proven successful, this new approach allows us to utilize our presence in communities across the country and bring testing closer to home," said Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health. "Our frontline employees will continue to play a critical role in the testing process, with members of their communities directly benefitting from their dedication and selflessness.”

Self-swab tests will be available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to age guidelines. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com beginning Friday, May 15 to schedule an appointment. Patients will be required to stay in their cars and directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly. Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.

Testing will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.

More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including support for health care providers and clinicians facing financial and administrative strain, is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company in the world. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings – from HealthHUB® locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions – are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

Media contact

T.J. Crawford
212-457-0583
crawfordt2@aetna.com

Cars in queue at a CVS Pharmacy drive-thru location, waiting to take the expanded self-swab COVID-19 test. (Available at certain locations.)
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Drive-thru testing brings relief to thousands

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CVS Health was the first retail location in the nation to offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing for first responders, law enforcement and health care providers. After the initial pilot in Shrewsbury (now closed), the company has now made free rapid testing available to the public in Georgia, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

“Our MinuteClinic providers join countless other heroic health care professionals across the country and around the world in forming the first line of defense against this devastating virus,” said Troyen Brennan, MD, chief medical officer and executive vice president, CVS Health.

The sites are located in large, easily accessible parking lots at the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island, and the Showcase Cinemas in Lowell, Massachusetts.

“By working with a wide range of partners, we have dramatically increased Massachusetts’ COVID-19 testing capacity, and we are grateful to CVS for their partnership in launching this new rapid testing site,” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. 

Up to 1,000 tests can be conducted daily at each of the three sites. Additional testing sites may be added in the coming months.  

A medical professional examines a swab taken from a patient at a COVID-19 rapid testing drive-through site.

“This marks a giant leap forward in our efforts to combat the virus,” said Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, adding that the new CVS-operated site will double her state’s testing capability. 

The new testing sites use a new COVID-19 test from Abbott Laboratories that was authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March. The test is available to eligible residents in each state who meet criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Patients are required to pre-register online at CVS.com to schedule a same-day time slot. Testing is available seven days a week.

Patients use a self-administered nasal swab to collect a sample while remaining in their cars. Results are delivered on the spot within five minutes to receive a positive test result and approximately 13 minutes for a negative result. 

“Increased access to rapid testing remains one of our top priorities in order to identify more cases, get Georgians the care they need, and prevent further infection in our communities,” says Governor Brian P. Kemp. “This unique, public-private partnership will strengthen our testing capability as we continue to take the fight to COVID-19 in Georgia.”

A line of cars queuing at a CVS Health rapid COVID-19 testing site.
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CVS stores to donate more than $5 million worth of seasonal treats to local communities nationwide

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), today announced it will donate more than $5 million worth of seasonal treats to local community organizations across the country to help families celebrate upcoming holidays, including Easter. Earlier this month, CVS also began surprising home prescription delivery and drive-thru customers with free spring-themed greeting cards. These efforts aim to spread happiness and human connection during a time of social distancing.

Field leaders and managers at CVS Pharmacy stores will select local organizations to receive the donations, focusing on hospitals, food banks, senior centers, youth programs and other critical resources.

“Many won’t be partaking in their usual holiday celebrations with family and friends,” said George Coleman, Senior Vice President of Merchandising at CVS Health. “We hope this small gesture will help put a smile on people’s faces.”

CVS Pharmacy stores remain open to ensure customers and patients have access to critical pharmacy and health services, as well as everyday health and wellness needs and groceries. Customers are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines and take advantage of drive-thru and free delivery options; to locate a nearby CVS Pharmacy location or confirm store hours, visit CVS.com/stores.

For more information about how CVS Pharmacy’s parent company, CVS Health, is responding to the pandemic, please visit the frequently updated COVID-19 Resource Center.

About CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with over 9,700 locations. It is the first national pharmacy to end the sale of tobacco and the first pharmacy in the nation to receive the Community Pharmacy accreditation from URAC, the leading health care accreditation organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. CVS Pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS Pharmacy is available at http://www.cvshealth.com.

Media contact

Stephanie Cunha
stephanie.cunha@cvshealth.com 
401-770-9354

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CVS Health expands rapid COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites into Massachusetts

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Building on learnings from the company’s pilot COVID-19 testing site launched in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts in March, CVS Health today announced the launch of a new rapid testing site in Lowell, Massachusetts in conjunction with federal and state officials. The site will provide Massachusetts residents with on-the-spot COVID-19 testing and results at no cost using the new Abbott ID NOW™ COVID-19 test, and joins rapid testing sites in Georgia and Rhode Island launched earlier this week.

Similar to the rapid COVID-19 test sites in Georgia and Rhode Island, testing in Lowell will be overseen by licensed health care providers from MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health. Rapid COVID-19 testing will take place in the parking lot of the Showcase Cinemas located at 32 Reiss Avenue, in Lowell; no testing will take place at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations.

“Our initial experience in Massachusetts has enabled us to expand testing into other states while maximizing efficiency and safety,” said Troyen Brennan, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, CVS Health. “We are now able to significantly improve upon our testing capabilities in the state, greatly expanding access to testing with rapid results for eligible individuals.”

“By working with a wide range of partners, we have dramatically increased Massachusetts’ COVID-19 testing capacity, and we are grateful to CVS for their partnership in launching this new rapid testing site,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The continued expansion of testing, along with our new efforts around community tracing, will enable the Commonwealth to better track and slow the spread of this virus.”

CVS Health will be transitioning its efforts to support COVID-19 testing in Massachusetts to the Lowell location, which allows for up to 1,000 patients to be tested per day and receive results on-site so they can properly quarantine or seek treatment as appropriate. As a result, the company will be stopping COVID-19 testing at the original Shrewsbury, Massachusetts pilot testing site.

Rapid COVID-19 testing will be available to eligible individuals who meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to state residency and age guidelines. Patients will need to pre-register in advance online at CVS.com in order to schedule a same-day time slot for testing.

A medical professional examines a swab taken from a patient at a COVID-19 rapid testing drive-through site.
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CVS Health opens COVID-19 testing site in Massachusetts

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As announced on March 13, we’ve been working with the administration and other partners to help facilitate increased frequency and efficiency of COVID-19 testing as part of our multifaceted response to the pandemic. Public-private partnerships are a powerful force, especially in times of need, and all parties have been focused on expanding access to testing as soon as possible.

Today, in close coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Public Health Service, and Governor Charlie Baker’s administration, we’re opening a COVID-19 testing site for a limited population in the parking lot of a CVS Pharmacy in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. It’s important to understand that this is our first site, which means there will likely be issues that arise. Those issues will be addressed immediately and inform the opening of other sites — in CVS Pharmacy parking lots and elsewhere. The goal is to serve as a model for testing.

Testing will initially focus on a critical population: first responders and health care workers. State officials have identified a group of brave women and men who are on the frontlines of the pandemic and have potentially been exposed to COVID-19. The sooner they are tested, the sooner they can continue to help others, in particular the most vulnerable members of our communities.

We understand there will be significant interest from Massachusetts residents in visiting the site and possibly being tested. The site does not, and will not, administer tests on a walk-up or drive-up basis. As the administration has shared, details on screening and potential assignment to a testing site will be forthcoming.

We also understand there will be significant interest from members of the media, many of whom have been working around the clock to keep Americans informed of the latest COVID-19 developments. We’re working with local media to help spread the message of how the testing site will operate, but we’re limiting non-testing onsite activities. As such, we will not provide media access to the secure testing area.

Throughout this process we’ve been encouraged by how quickly everyone has joined forces in the face of significant challenges. We’ve also been amazed by the commitment and selflessness demonstrated by our employees. We’re all in this together.

More information on the steps we’ve already taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic — including waiving charges for home delivery of prescription medications and making diagnostic testing and Aetna-covered telemedicine visits available with no co-pay — is available at our frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

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CVS Health To Expand Safe Medication Disposal Program in Massachusetts, Giving Customers Drug Disposal Options in All CVS Pharmacy Locations

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Completes the Installation of 56 Drug Disposal Units Across the State

Company to Introduce In-Home Safe Medication Disposal Solution at No Cost

Senator William Brownsberger and State Representatives Jon Santiago and Dan Cullinane to Highlight Importance of Proper Drug Disposal

BOSTON In its continuing commitment to help build healthier communities, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today 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 Massachusetts at no cost.

As part of its expanded efforts, the company announced the completed installation of 56 safe medication disposal kiosks in select CVS Pharmacy locations in communities across the state, adding to the 43 in-store units previously installed and 43 units donated to local law enforcement. To date, 1,700 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide have safe medication disposal and the company has donated more than 990 kiosks to law enforcement. These kiosks have collected more than 1.1 million pounds of unwanted or expired medications, including 57,000 pounds in Massachusetts alone.

CVS Health also announced that, beginning in 2020, all CVS Pharmacy locations that don't currently offer a safe medication disposal kiosk will now offer DisposeRx, a simple solution that enables customers to safely discard their unwanted or expired medications at home. New and existing patients filling prescriptions can request a free DisposeRx packet and opioid safety information brochure when picking up their prescription at any time.

DisposeRx packets, according to the manufacturer, contain proprietary solidifying materials that make safe disposal of unused medication simple. When water and the DisposeRx powder are added to unwanted medications in the prescription vial and shaken, the drugs are rendered unusable, 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 Tom Davis, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Services, 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 Boston with Senator William Brownsberger, and State Representatives Jon Santiago and Dan Cullinane, and community health organizations.

"We will only make progress on combating the opioid epidemic through collaboration between the public and private sectors," said Representative Jon Santiago. "Today, our city and state, and CVS are demonstrating a shared commitment to reducing the number of unused prescription opioids and making it easier for residents to dispose of them. This is a true example of how public-private partnership can have an immediate impact."

"We are in the middle of a complex public health crisis that is devastating families in every city and town all over the country," said Jen Tracey, the Director of the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services. "We are happy to see CVS continue to step up their efforts to help us keep drugs off the streets of Boston."

The company's safe medication disposal units will be put to good use on Saturday, October 26, which marks National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, a biannual event hosted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that provides an opportunity for Americans to help prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. Nearly 100 CVS Pharmacy locations will join other community sites throughout the country in hosting drug take-back events and shining a light on the safe disposal of unwanted medication.

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.

To learn more about CVS Health's efforts to combat prescription drug misuse, visit our website.

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 more than 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 https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact

Ian Stanton
860-273-9166
stantoni@aetna.com

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