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Advocating for Legislation That Helps Fight the Opioid Epidemic
At CVS Health, we consider ourselves a part of the solution in helping end America’s abuse of painkillers. The widespread, nonmedical use of opioids is, indeed, a national public health emergency. It has no single cause and it doesn’t discriminate. It exists in our cities, in suburbs, and across rural America. Determining the best path forward to solve the crisis will take concerted effort from patients, physicians, insurers, pharmacies, advocacy organizations, elected officials, and community leaders.
In recognition of the need for pharmacy care providers to come together to address the opioid epidemic, CVS Health spearheaded a joint industry letter to the Trump Administration and key members of Congress, released this week. Signatories to the letter include CVS Health, Express Scripts Holding Co., Optum Inc., Walgreen Co., Rite Aid Corp., Magellan Health Inc. and Hy-Vee Inc. The letter highlights the steps the companies have taken, as well as our shared commitment to a public-private partnership to help solve the national health care crisis of opioid abuse.
At the Federal and State Level
In addition to a range of steps we have taken as an enterprise, CVS Health also advocates for policies that promote opioid safety, at the state and federal level. We frequently partner with industry associations such as the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association. We also work directly with legislators and policymakers to urge the adoption of public policies and legislation that can help ease the crisis. Measures and legislation we support that aim to prevent and end opioid abuse include:
Seven-day supply limit for initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain
Requiring electronic prescriptions for opioids with limited exceptions
CVS Health supports U.S. House Resolution 3528, the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, which mandates electronic prescribing for controlled substances in Medicare Part D plans.
Creation of a national prescription drug monitoring program
More needs to be done, on the legislative and policy front, now more than ever. We will continue to advocate for legislation and policies to help combat this epidemic, ensure appropriate care and help protect plan members and payors. We will continue to provide updates on our efforts.
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