CAMP HILL, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) announced today that it plans to install 100 medication disposal units in select pharmacies over the next year, the latest measure being taken by Rite Aid as part of its comprehensive strategy to address drug abuse and misuse in the country. The units offer individuals a free, safe and convenient way to dispose of expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications, helping to reduce the chances of accidental or intentional misuse.
Rite Aid President and Chief Operating Officer Kermit Crawford will join U.S. Congressman Scott Perry to officially unveil the Company’s first in-store medication disposal unit at a press conference today at 10 a.m. at the Rite Aid Pharmacy located at 1137 Market Street in Lemoyne, Pa.
“Rite Aid is committed to doing its part to address this serious issue affecting our country and the availability of medication disposal units inside select Rite Aid pharmacies is an important next step in our comprehensive approach,” said Crawford. “Our pharmacists, as medication experts, are often asked for information on how to properly dispose of medication that’s no longer needed, so we are proud to be able to offer in-store disposal and DisposeRx packets as solutions to our patients and customers.”
“Rite Aid’s safe medication disposal program brings business sense to combatting the growing public health threat and tragedy that is the opioid crisis. This is one step in the comprehensive approach to stop opioid abuse, and I applaud Rite Aid for taking such great initiative. With the help of families, practitioners, public health experts, drug companies and community action, we can put a stop to the opioid abuse epidemic,” said Perry.
Last week, Rite Aid announced that all of its more than 2,500 pharmacies would provide free DisposeRx packets to patients with new opioid prescriptions and patients with chronic opioid prescriptions every six months. DisposeRx packets contain a biodegradable powder that, when mixed with water in the prescription vial, dissolves drugs, forming a viscous gel which may be safely discarded in the trash. Rite Aid is the first drugstore chain to offer DisposeRx packets.
In April, the Company announced that naloxone, a medication that can be used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, was available at all of its locations without a prescription. The increased access to naloxone supports the U.S. Surgeon General's recent Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose. Additionally, all patients with opioid prescriptions will receive educational information on opioid use, safe storage, disposal and proper use of naloxone, and all patients with new opioid prescriptions will receive required counseling on their prescription from Rite Aid pharmacists.
In addition to supporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for prescribing opioids, Rite Aid also participates in prescription drug monitoring programs including a “red flag” process for pharmacists to regularly review prescriptions for patients not known by the pharmacy or where there may be concerns or suspicions of misuse. The Company also provides on-going education and training of Rite Aid pharmacists, covering topics including risk factors for opioid abuse, how to identify symptoms of an overdose and what to do in the event of an overdose, an overview of the various naloxone therapies available and proper administration of each and recommendations for follow-up care.
At www.riteaid.com, visitors can search for a disposal site in their community, learn how to properly dispose of medication at home, access resources provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and find information on treatment for drug abuse and addiction.
Rite Aid’s pharmacy benefit manager, EnvisionRx, a division of EnvisionRxOptions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rite Aid, also offers a comprehensive opioid and pain management program, EnvisionCare Pain Management. The program includes pre-emptive prescription strategies, such as limiting first-time fills to seven days*, prior authorizations on certain medications, and shortened windows to refill prescriptions. This comprehensive program aligns with the healthcare company’s overall pain management strategy, as well as the guidelines set by the CDC.
The Rite Aid Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is also addressing the issue of drug abuse and misuse as part of its commitment to creating safe and healthy environments for children and teens.
In March, The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program announced a three-year, $1.125 million commitment to EverFi, the nation's leading technology innovator, to bring the Prescription Drug Safety program to high schools in markets served by Rite Aid stores. The program uses an evidence-based, public health approach to empower high school students with the skills and knowledge they need to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drugs.
The Foundation also continues to expand its KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program. Launched in September 2017, the program provides law enforcement agencies in communities served by Rite Aid stores with free medication disposal units for individuals to safely dispose of expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications. As of this month, more than 175 law enforcement agencies across the country participate in the KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program, with nearly 270 units available in 18 states.
Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation's leading drugstore chains with fiscal 2018 annual revenues of $21.5 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company's website at www.riteaid.com.
* Member requested adjustments to this days’ supply limitation are subject to prescriber review and direction through the prior authorization process.