CVS/pharmacy has launched the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, aimed at helping police departments across the country work with CVS stores in their area to hold drug takeback events.


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CVS lends support to drug disposal events

October 24th, 2013

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – CVS/pharmacy has launched the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, aimed at helping police departments across the country work with CVS stores in their area to hold drug takeback events.

The drug chain said Thursday that the program, done in recognition of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, Oct. 26, also is designed to help raise community awareness of local drug disposal programs managed by law enforcement.

Via the program, CVS has created a toll-free phone number (866-559-8830) and a website, cvs.com/safercommunities, that law enforcement authorities can use to set up National Drug Take Back Day events at their local CVS/pharmacy locations. Law enforcement agencies operating their own collection site programs can also arrange to have the address and hours of operations posted in area CVS stores.

"We recognize the importance of removing unused, unwanted and expired medications from our communities in a safe and environmentally responsible manner in order to prevent abuse and misuse of these drugs," Josh Flum, senior vice president of retail pharmacy at CVS/pharmacy, said in a statement. "Many CVS stores across the country will be hosting local police at Drug Take Back Day events this Saturday. As part of our new Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, we are making our store sites available nationwide to law enforcement agencies to hold Drug Take Back events.

"Additionally, our stores are well-positioned to help promote awareness of permanent collection site programs run by law enforcement agencies at their police stations and other facilities," Flum noted.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, begun in 2010 by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in tandem with local law enforcement agencies, is annually in the spring and fall at thousands of locations nationwide. Since its inception, more than 2.8 million pounds of unneeded medications have been collected and destroyed, helping to prevent diversion, misuse and abuse of those drugs.

CVS added that it's engaged in various other initiatives to help fight prescription drug abuse. The company said it's the sole retail pharmacy sponsor of the Medicine Abuse Program, an effort of The Partnership at Drugfree.org that aims to prevent a half-million teenagers from abusing prescription drugs by the year 2017. And available at all CVS stores is the Sharps Compliance Takeaway Environmental Return program, which enables customers to safely dispose of their unused, expired or unwanted drugs using postage-paid medication disposal envelopes.

In addition, CVS said it helps in the ongoing identification of doctors who exhibit extreme patterns of prescribing high-risk drugs such as pain killers and suspending the dispensing of controlled substance prescriptions they write. The company also is working at the federal and state levels to support policy changes to curb prescription drug abuse, such as mandatory electronic prescribing of controlled substances and improved prescription drug monitoring programs.

"Our efforts to prevent medication abuse are helping our communities on their path to better health, but we realize that our initiatives are not a comprehensive solution," Flum stated. "Defeating the epidemic of prescription drug abuse will require the active involvement of stakeholders throughout the health care community, as well as law enforcement and regulatory agencies."

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