WOONSOCKET – CVS Caremark Corp. has joined a group of public and private sector partners to sponsor a multi-year effort by The Partnership at Drugfree.org to curb the abuse of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines, CVS announced Thursday.
The goal of the Medicine Abuse Project, which will launch the week of September 23 – 29, is to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicines over the next five years.
“It is startling that one in six teens has taken a prescription drug without a prescription and that the majority of teens who abuse medications get them from the homes of family and friends,” Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, said in prepared remarks.
“As a pharmacy innovation company, we have a responsibility to educate people about medication abuse,” added Merlo. “These efforts are an important part of CVS Caremark’s purpose to help people on their path to better health.”
CVS will be participating in the Medicine Abuse Project by posting information on company websites and social media channels, linking to the campaign’s website, providing information at CVS/Pharmacy locations and taking part in The Partnership at Drugfree.org’s awareness-building events.
“Our new research underscores that Americans drastically underestimate the negative impact that prescription drug and over-the-counter medicine abuse is having on teens today,” Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org, said in a statement.
“Every day our pharmacists talk to customers about how to take their medications as directed so they can get and stay healthy,” said Merlo, who is himself a pharmacist. “This effort to counsel patients and families about the dangers of inappropriately taking medications, as well as how to safeguard medications in the home, is equally important.”
“With the support of CVS Caremark and their reach into communities across the nation, we are taking action and helping turn the tide on this growing epidemic,” said Pasierb.
In addition to CVS Caremark, current Medicine Abuse Project sponsors include Mallinckrodt, the pharmaceutical business of Covidien, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association of America, Cardinal Health, Abbott Laboratories, Purdue, A&E, Horizon Media, Endo Solutions for 21st Century Healthcare, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, Aetna and Pfizer.