Walgreens Leads Fight Against Prescription Drug Abuse in California with New Program to Help Curb Misuse of Medications and the Rise in Overdose Deaths

Safe medication disposal program launches with installation of kiosks
in 50 pharmacies in California

To kick off the program, Walgreens will host events across California
with local lawmakers

DEERFIELD, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Walgreens today announced that it has implemented the first of two
programs in California to combat drug abuse, part of a comprehensive
national plan announced earlier this year to address key contributors to
the crisis.


Individuals in California now have a safe and convenient way to dispose
of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled
substances and over-the-counter medications, at no cost. Walgreens has
installed 50 safe medication disposal kiosks in Walgreens drugstores
across the state. The safe medication disposal kiosks make the disposal
of medications easier while helping to reduce the misuse of medications
and the rise in overdose deaths.

“By making safe medication disposal kiosks available in select
California stores and expanding to other states this year, Walgreens is
taking an important first step to curb the misuse of medications
throughout the country,” said Alex Gourlay, President of Walgreen Co.
“As a pharmacy, we are committed to playing a role in what must be a
comprehensive solution to prevent prescription drug and opioid abuse.”

To kick off the launch of the safe medication disposal program in
California, Walgreens will host a series of events with local lawmakers
working to fight the drug abuse crisis in the state leading up to the
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug
Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30. U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin
McCarthy, representing California’s 23rd congressional
district and State Assembly Member Shannon Grove will participate in
today’s event in Bakersfield.

“Our country is facing an epidemic of prescription drug abuse and opioid
overdoses. In our community, more than 160 people over the past six
years have been sent to the emergency room for opioid overdoses.
Addiction tears apart families, it uproots communities and it deprives
Americans from grasping their dreams and opportunities,” said House
Leader McCarthy. “In Congress I have worked with my colleagues to
prepare legislation to support local communities and to supplement the
efforts of local law enforcement and pharmacies as they work together to
roll back this epidemic. To successfully achieve this, we need strong
community partners. Walgreens is at the forefront of curbing drug
diversion through its safe disposal program, and I’m proud that our
community will be among the early beneficiaries.”

Walgreens also is working to make naloxone, a potentially lifesaving
opioid antidote, available without requiring a prescription from an
individual’s physician at California pharmacies. The medication is
currently available with a prescription in California and can be used in
the event of an overdose to reverse the effects of heroin or other
opioid drugs, and is administered by injection or nasal spray.

“In addition to making it easier and safer for Californians to drop off
their unwanted, unused or expired medications in our participating
stores, we’re also working to expand access to naloxone in this state
and others,” said Roberto Valencia, Walgreens Operations Vice President
for the Western Region. “Together, these programs will go a long way to
help address the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and heroin
overdose.”

In February, Walgreens announced plans to make naloxone available
without a prescription in 35 states and Washington D.C. in accordance
with each state’s pharmacy regulations. Since its announcement, naloxone
has been made available without a prescription in more than 1,300
Walgreens pharmacies throughout the states of Alabama, Indiana,
Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

When implementation of the program is complete, naloxone will be
available without a prescription in more than 5,800 of Walgreens nearly
8,200 stores.

The installation of safe medication disposal kiosks in California is
part of a nationwide effort and is expected to be completed at more than
500 Walgreens locations later this year. The kiosks at Walgreens
pharmacies will be available during regular pharmacy hours (24 hours a
day at most of these locations) and will offer one of the best ways to
ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by
someone else.

Drug abuse continues to be a public health and safety risk. More
Americans die every day from drug overdoses than from motor vehicle
crashes, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. About
4,500 Californians died following drug overdoses in 2014, up by 1,500
(or 50 percent) from 2002, according to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC). That same year, the CDC reported a national total
of 47,055 drug overdose deaths, which include death from prescription
and illicit drugs. That is a 6.5 percent increase from 2013 and a 140
percent increase since 2000.

Walgreens also continues to participate in DEA sponsored National
Prescription Drug Take Back Days, serving as a collection point in
communities for law enforcement to collect unwanted, unused or expired
medications for safe disposal.

Select California Walgreens with safe medication disposal kiosks:

Alameda — 2300 Otis Drive
Anaheim — 3446 W. Ball Road
Arleta — 9750 Woodman Ave.
Bakersfield — 9550 Hageman Road
Bellflower — 9031 Rosecrans Ave.
Burlingame — 260 El Camino Real
Cathedral City — 33975 Date Palm Drive
Chico — 860 East Ave.
Chino — 12490 Central Ave.
Citrus Heights — 6144 Dewey Drive
El Cerrito — 11565 San Pablo Ave.
Elk Grove — 7299 Laguna Blvd.
Fontana — 16108 Foothill Blvd.
Freedom — 1810 Freedom Blvd.
Fresno — 1016 W. Shaw Ave.; 626 S. Clovis Ave.
Fullerton — 1826 W. Orangethorpe Ave.
Gardena — 1344 W. Redondo Beach Blvd.
Hesperia — 17051 Bear Valley Road
Huntington Beach — 19001 Brookhurst St.
La Puente — 934 N. Hacienda Blvd.
Lodi — 75 N. Ham Lane
Long Beach — 2627 Pacific Ave.
Los Angeles — 3201 W. 6th St.
Los Gatos — 423 N. Santa Cruz Ave.
Menifee — 30251 Murrieta Road
Mountain View — 121 E. El Camino Real
Oceanside — 3752 Mission Ave.
Palm Desert — 44840 Monterey Ave.
Riverside — 8044 Limonite Ave.
San Diego — 3222 University Ave.; 10787 Camino Ruiz
San Francisco — 5280 Geary Blvd.; 1189 Potrero Ave.; 275 Sacramento
St.; 498 Castro St.; 3201 Divisardero St.
San Jose — 350 N. Capitol Ave.
San Leandro — 15500 Washington Ave.
Santa Cruz — 1718 Soquel Ave.; 201 Front St.
Santa Maria — 2399 S. Broadway
Santa Rosa — 4610 Sonoma Hwy.
Scotts Valley — 210 Mount Hermon Road
Seaside — 1055 Fremont Road
Turlock — 1591 Geer Road
Tustin — 13052 Newport Ave.
Vallejo — 1050 Redwood St.
Van Nuys — 5224 Coldwater Canyon Ave.
Visalia — 100 W. Walnut Ave.
Walnut Creek — 2900 Main St.
Yuba City — 855 Colusa Ave.
 

About Walgreens

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com),
one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail
Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA),
the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More
than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities
across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to
consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health
and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,173 drugstores
with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico
and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens digital business includes
Walgreens.com, drugstore.com, Beauty.com, SkinStore.com and
VisionDirect.com. Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic
and provider practice locations around the country.

Contacts

Walgreens
Phil Caruso, 847-315-2962
philip.caruso@walgreens.com
http://news.walgreens.com
@WalgreensNews
facebook.com/Walgreens