CVS, Pitt School of Pharmacy take aim at youth drug abuse

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CVS Pharmacists Teach brought to Pittsburgh Public Schools

PITTSBURGH — CVS Health has enlisted student pharmacists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy to help educate schoolchildren about prescription drug abuse.

Under the public-private partnership, the CVS Pharmacists Teach prescription drug abuse prevention program will be brought to students in Pittsburgh Public Schools. Dozens of University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy students will deliver the program to middle schools and high schools across the Pittsburgh public school district, which serves about 25,000 K-12 students and is the second-largest in Pennsylvania.

CVS Pharmacists Teach Rx abuse programCVS said Thursday that Pittsburgh Public Schools marks the first large, urban school system to partner with CVS’ Pharmacists Teach program across an entire district. Pitt Pharmacy is also CVS Health’s first university partner in delivering the presentations.

“CVS Health is committed to addressing and preventing prescription drug abuse in the communities we serve, and we started the Pharmacists Teach program because we know pharmacists can provide a unique and trusted perspective on the dangers of prescription drug abuse,” CVS Health president and chief executive officer Larry Merlo said in a statement.  “I’m extremely proud we’ve been able to partner with the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy to expand the reach of the Pharmacists Teach program to so many public schools in Pittsburgh. I know Pitt’s pharmacy students will bring an influential and meaningful voice to this issue for so many local teens.”

In tandem with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, CVS developed the Pharmacists Teach curriculum in 2015 to help stem the rising tide of opioid abuse. The company said CVS pharmacists have since delivered the program to more than 200,000 students nationwide, and with the help of University of Pittsburgh student pharmacists the program will dramatically expand in the Pittsburgh area to reach thousands of students.

“This partnership is about people, the dedicated professionals in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, at CVS Health and at the Pitt School of Pharmacy all working together to improve the health of our young people in our Pittsburgh community,” commented Patricia Kroboth, dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.

CVS is encouraging teachers and school administrators in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas to reach out and schedule a Pharmacists Teach presentation.

“We are truly thankful to both the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and CVS Health for this valuable relationship,” stated Dara Ware Allen, assistant superintendent forPittsburgh Public Schools. “Through this partnership, students will learn the consequences associated with the misuse of prescription drugs while also gaining insight into the career of pharmacy through the experiences of college students not much older than themselves.”



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