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    Four PBM programs poised to rein in the opioid epidemic


    4.  CVS Health enterprise initiatives

    CVS Caremark, CVS’ PBM, will roll out an enhanced opioid utilization management approach for all commercial, health plan, employer and Medicaid clients as of February 1, 2018 unless the client chooses to opt out. This effort will leverage the CVS Pharmacy retail presence in nearly 10,000 communities across the country, and it will include:

    An expanded drug disposal collection program to 1,550 units with addition of kiosks at 750 retail pharmacies nationwide, adding to 800 units previously donated to law enforcement.

    Enhanced opioid utilization management aligned with the CDC Guideline for PBM clients and members, complementing measures already in place. Pharmacists will counsel patients about the risk of dependence and addiction tied to duration of opioid use, the importance of keeping medications secure in the home, and methods of proper disposal of unused medication.

    A $2 million commitment by the CVS Health Foundation adding to previous investments in mitigating prescription drug abuse with support for Community Health Centers providing medication-assisted treatment and other addiction recovery services.

    “Our goal is to ensure that patients receive the clinically appropriate medications for the condition for which they are being treated,” says Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health. “In an ankle sprain or a dental procedure, while an individual may be in pain, it doesn’t call for a prescription with quantities of 30 pills or 60 pills of what has been proven to be what is very, very powerful and potent medications.”


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