WOONSOCKET, R.I. — To date, CVS Health has donated more than 500 drug collection units to law enforcement partners — accounting for the safe disposal of over 35 metric tons of unwanted medication — through its Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program.
CVS marked the achievement on Wednesday in recognition of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which takes place this Saturday, April 30. Also as part of the event, CVS is hosting more than 150 take-back events managed by local law enforcement agencies at CVS Pharmacy stores around the country, launching new education resources on CVS.com to help patients use and dispose of prescription drugs safely, and donating 11 new drug disposal units to the Connecticut State Police.
“CVS Health is committed to helping the communities we serve address and prevent prescription drug abuse,” Tom Davis, vice president of pharmacy professional practices for CVS Pharmacy, said in a statement. “Proper disposal of unwanted prescription medication is critical to prevent abuse, and we are proud to mark National Prescription Drug Take Back Day with a number of important initiatives. Taken together, our Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, our patient resources on CVS.com and our Take Back events are helping us advance CVS Health’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was established by the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2010 to provide a safe, convenient way to dispose of prescription drugs while educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.
In a poll recently conducted by CVS Health and Morning Consult, 72% of respondents said they would be interested in a drug take-back day in their community. Also, only 33% of respondents acknowledged the primary way they dispose of unwanted, unused or expired medication was by taking them to a designated disposal location, and more than half said they do not dispose of their unused medication at all or do so in a way not recommended by federal guidelines.
CVS is launching new consumer education resources on its website to help patients ensure their medications are used and disposed of properly. The resources will also connect community leaders to CVS’ youth drug abuse prevention program, Pharmacists Teach, which brings CVS pharmacists to high school health classes to educate children about the dangers of drug abuse. Law enforcement officials can also find online resources about how they can apply for a drug disposal unit via the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities program. CVS has operated the program since 2014 in tandem with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
“CVS Health’s commitment to safe disposal of prescription drugs has made a meaningful contribution to preventing drug abuse in many communities across our country,” stated Marcia Lee Taylor, president and chief executive officer of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “We value their partnership in helping families and communities on the path to better health.”