Walgreens’ drug abuse efforts come to Okla., Wash. stores

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has brought its programs to fight drug abuse to stores in two more states, Oklahoma and Washington.

The drug chain said this week that in Oklahoma it has installed safe medication disposal kiosks in nine stores and made the opioid overdose drug naloxone available without a prescription at its more than 115 pharmacies across the state.

“By making safe medication disposal kiosks available in select Oklahoma stores and expanding to other states this year, Walgreens is taking an important first step to curb the misuse of medications throughout the country,” Richard Ashworth, president of pharmacy and retail operations at Walgreens. “As a pharmacy, we are committed to playing a role in what must be a comprehensive solution to prevent prescription drug and opioid abuse.”

Walgreens medication disposal kiosk

The safe medication disposal units are slated to be in place at more than 500 Walgreens stores by later this year.

The medication disposal units were deployed at Walgreens stores in Broken Arrow, Claremore, Edmond, Lawton, Midwest City, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.

“I appreciate Walgreens taking this step to help Oklahoma and other states limit the dangerous abuse of prescription drugs by introducing these medication disposal kiosks,” Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin commented at an event hosted by Walgreens to kick off the program in the state. “It is also good to know that Walgreens will dispense naloxone, without a prescription, to treat opioid overdoses.”

In Washington, Walgreens has rolled out the medication disposal kiosks in 10 stores and begun providing naloxone without a prescription at all of its 130-plus pharmacies throughout the state.

“I commend Walgreens for making the lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug Naloxone available directly from a pharmacist, and for providing safe disposal options for unwanted medications,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee stated in an event at Walgreens store in Kirkland, Wash. “To address this epidemic, we need the public and private sector working together on options such as this for our communities.”

The medication disposal kiosks were installed at Walgreens stores in Bellingham, Burien, Kent, Kirkland, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Pasco, Spokane, Tacoma and Vancouver, Wash.

In February, Walgreens announced plans to make naloxone available without a prescription at more than 5,800 stores  in 35 states and Washington, D.C. Thus far, the company said, naloxone has been made available without a prescription in more than 1,600 Walgreens pharmacies in Alabama, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and now Oklahoma.

“By making naloxone available without a prescription, we are making it easier for Oklahoma families and caregivers to help their loved ones in need,” according to Howard Atlas, Walgreens’ regional vice president for Oklahoma. “We are committed to making naloxone more accessible in the communities we serve.”

Overall, Walgreens aims to have safe medication disposal kiosks in place at more than 500 stores by later this year.

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