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CVS study: Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem

BY Brian Berk

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Americans see prescription drug abuse as a growing problem that is increasingly impacting their lives, according to a CVS Health-Morning Consult survey, with three-quarters of respondents believing the problem of prescription drug abuse is tied to people who take medication prescribed for someone else. 

At the same time, nearly one in three people report having unused medication in their home and one in five say they or someone they know has had prescription medication stolen from their home. 

The study was released just prior to National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which takes place Saturday, April 29.  Nearly 140 CVS Pharmacy locations will be among the many sites across the country accepting unwanted prescription medication. These sites supplement the more than 750 year-round drug disposal locations donated to law enforcement agencies across the country by CVS Health's Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program. The units donated as part of this program have collected more than 80 metric tons, or more than 175,000 pounds, of unwanted medication since the program began in 2014. 

"CVS Health is dedicated to addressing and preventing prescription drug abuse in the communities we serve," said Thomas Moriarty, EVP, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, and General Counsel for CVS Health. "Understanding public perception about the epidemic and factors that contribute to it, including safe and environmentally friendly medication disposal, is key to raising awareness and preventing future abuse.  We are proud to partner with law enforcement to encourage drug disposal and prevention this weekend for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and all year long through our Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program."     

The CVS Health report also finds nearly one in three people report being personally impacted by the issue of prescription drug abuse and nearly 40% say the number of people they know who have been personally impacted by the issue increased in the last year.  On the topic of drug disposal, 43% of respondents say they have thrown unused or expired medications in the trash, more than any other method indicated in the survey.  However, 70% of people say they are likely to use conveniently located disposal units to safely get rid of unwanted medication and the same percentage think increasing disposal sites and take back events would be effective in addressing prescription drug abuse.

CVS Health has made resources to educate patients about preventing prescription drug abuse available on CVS.com. Among these resources is a tool patients can use to find a safe medication disposal site available year-round in their local community. 

CVS Health is also working to address and prevent prescription drug abuse by increasing access to the opioid-overdose reversal medication naloxone in 41 states. Additionally, through the company's Pharmacists Teach program, CVS pharmacists have volunteered to educate more than 230,000 students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

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Walmart makes money transfers more affordable

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy
Walmart is making its cheaper and faster for its customers to send money.
 
The retailer is adding new “rollback” fees to its Walmart2Walmart money transfer program. The new fees, beginning Wednesday, April 26, save customers between 20% and 90% on cash transfers versus the leading competitor, according to Walmart.  For example, shoppers sending $250 will pay $8 through the new program, compared to fees that could range between $12.50 and $24 on Western Union, the retailer reported.
 
The program also features transparent national pricing in all Walmart stores compared to other leading competitors that may vary prices location by location, according to the retailer.
 
Walmart2Walmart, which is supported by electronic payment and transaction processing solutions provider Ria, launched three years ago this week.
 
In move to streamline wire transfers, Walmart will launch its Bluebird2Walmart Money Transfer Service in May. The program will allow accountholders of Bluebird – a checking and debit alternative – to digitally send money for cash pickup at Walmart locations.
 
Accountholders can access the new service by visiting Bluebird.com or by using the Bluebird app on their smartphone. Money receivers do not need a Bluebird Account, and can pick up their funds at any Walmart store within minutes of the online transfer. Pricing will coincide with the new Walmart2Walmart prices.
 
“For the millions of customers who rely upon transferring money to help family and friends – whether regularly or in times of urgent need – we know saving money on costly fees can make a big difference,” said Kirsty Ward, VP, Walmart Services. “Now, with even lower fees for Walmart2Walmart, as well as the option to send money digitally with Bluebird, we continue to deliver on our mission to save customers’ money, as well as time.”
 
Both services come on the heels of enhancements Walmart made to its app, which enable shoppers to conduct wire transfers directly through their smart device, the retailer said. 

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‘Wonder Years’ star headlines NACDS Annual Hallmark Luncheon

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Danica McKellar, well known as Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years” and Elsie Snuffin on “The West Wing,” headlined the NACDS Annual Hallmark Luncheon here on Tuesday. In addition to photo opportunities with McKellar, Hallmark's lunch guests met the company's master artists.

"We hope you spent some time with our four artists from Hallmark who are here with us today, and you got a chance to ave your picture taken with Danica," David Hall, president Hallmark Cards, told attendees. "We look forward to this event at NACDS every year. It's a great opportunity for us to spend some time with all of you and it's a great chance for us to thank you for what you do for us."

"It's such a pleasure to be in this room and to have met so many of you retail giants," McKellar said. "While it could be intimidating, I actually feel I'm at home with you guys. I have a feeling that some of you also like math," she joked. "I want to take a moment to just say how grateful I am to be part of the Hallmark family and to have done five movies in two years on the Hallmark Channel."

McKellar recently wowed audiences as a quarterfinalist on the ABC juggernaut “Dancing with the Stars.” She is also a New York Times bestselling author of the books "Math Doesn’t Suck," "Kiss My Math," "Hot X: Algebra Exposed" and "Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape."

Tackling math education and simultaneously breaking the stereotype of the “math nerd,” McKellar was named “Person of the Week” by ABC World News. This honor came on the heels of her debut as author of her illuminating math book series. Using fun topics like popularity and jewelry-making – as well as stories from her own life – McKellar shows girls and their parents how to master the tough mathematical concepts introduced in middle school and high school, the time when young girls begin to shy away from math.

A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, McKellar earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics while also contributing original research. Her next series of math books, this time aimed at younger kids, will be published by Random House in spring of 2017.

 

 

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