17 August 2016

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Oregon House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson join Walgreens at today's launch to help in fight against prescription drug abuse

DEERFIELD, Ill., August 17, 2016 - Walgreens today is launching its safe medication disposal kiosk program in Oregon with the installation of drug take-back kiosks at six Walgreens drugstores across the state. The launch is part of Walgreens effort, announced in February, to install safe medication disposal kiosks at more than 500 of its drugstores around the country.

Walgreens will be joined today by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson and Dwight Holten, executive director of Lines for Life to kick off the drug take-back program.

The kiosks provide a safe and convenient way year-round to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications at no cost.

“By making safe medication disposal kiosks available in select Oregon stores and expanding to other states this year, Walgreens is taking an important first step to reduce the misuse of medications throughout the country and curb the rise in overdose deaths,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of pharmacy and retail operations. “Everyone has a role to play in minimizing prescription drug abuse, and we are committed to being part of a comprehensive solution to reverse this epidemic.”

Safe medication disposal kiosks are currently available in more than 300 Walgreens pharmacies across 23 states and Washington D.C. The kiosks are available during regular pharmacy hours (24 hours a day at most kiosk locations) and offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.

“Addiction to opioids and other prescription drugs is a life-or-death issue, and Walgreens deserves significant credit for working in partnership to expand the opportunity to dispose safely of medications that might otherwise be abused,” Senator Wyden said. “This program is a smart and targeted tool in the fight to stem this epidemic of opioid addiction in Oregon and nationwide.”

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.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost 15 million Americans misused a prescription drug in 20141, and that same year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a national total of 47,055 drug overdose deaths, which include deaths from prescription and illicit drugs. That is a 6.5 percent increase from 2013 and a 140 percent increase since 2000.2

In addition to offering a year-round solution for individuals to dispose of their medications, Walgreens 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. The company is also collaborating with the American Pharmacists Association Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies to continue to offer a substance abuse education program for pharmacists and student pharmacists.

States where Walgreens Safe Medication Disposal Program has been implemented:

Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin*

*Installation has begun in the state and is expected to be complete in August.

Select Oregon Walgreens with Safe Medication Disposal Kiosks:

Beaverton – 14600 Murray Scholls Drive
Grants Pass – 111 Union Ave.
Gresham – 1950 NE. Burnside Road
Portland – 940 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Redmond – 1450 S. Highway 97
Salem – 1992 Lancaster Drive NE.

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 omnichannel business includes Walgreens.com and VisionDirect.com. More than 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.

1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabs2014/NSDUH-DetTabs2014.htm#tab1-1a

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths –United States, 2000-2014 http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6450a3.htm