CVS to announce plan to help combat opioid addiction

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BOSTON - CVS will help combat the opioid crisis by announcing changes it will make inside stores to help patients struggling with addiction.

Last year alone there were 64,000 overdose deaths. Doctors, insurers, drug companies and pharmacists are all facing pressure to do something to help with the issue. And on Thursday, CVS plans to announce some of the new measures it will put into effect.

The move comes as the White House declared this week Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.

Pres. Donald Trump also recently announced plans to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency.

CVS said it provides medications to nearly 90 million people, so the company is hoping to take the lead and influence other providers to follow suit.

A large approach will be limiting opioid prescriptions.

The company said it will limit initial prescriptions to seven-day supplies. It also plans to cap daily doses and require patients to get medications that dispense pain relief for shorter amounts of time, instead of longer durations.

Pharmacists will be instructed to contact doctors if they believe a prescription gives a patient more medication than is necessary to help with his or her recovery.

CVS also plans to boost funding for addiction programs, counseling and safe disposal of opioids.

CVS said this isn’t a blame game. The company simply believes all stakeholders should be a part of the solution when it comes to opioid abuse.

Rival Walgreens has announced plans for a new marketing campaign aimed at educating teens about the dangers of opioids.

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