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

Launch of safe medication disposal program will install kiosks in
more than 500 Walgreens drugstores in 39 states and Washington, D.C.

Lifesaving opioid antidote naloxone to be made available without a
prescription at Walgreens pharmacies in 35 states and Washington, D.C.

Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli joins
Walgreens for the program launch

DEERFIELD, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Walgreens today announced the launch of a comprehensive new effort to
combat drug abuse, introducing two programs that address key
contributors to the crisis.

In the first ongoing national effort of its kind by a retailer,
Walgreens will install safe medication disposal kiosks in more than 500
drugstores in 39 states and Washington, D.C., primarily at locations
open 24 hours. A full listing of the states to be included in the
program is below. The program will make the disposal of medications —
including opioids and other controlled substances — easier and more
convenient while helping to reduce the misuse of medications and the
rise in overdose deaths.

Walgreens also will make naloxone, a lifesaving opioid antidote,
available without a prescription at its pharmacies in 35 states and
Washington, D.C., rolling out the program state-by-state throughout this
year. Naloxone 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. The medication became available without a
prescription last week at Walgreens pharmacies throughout the state of
New York and will be introduced without a prescription in Indiana and
Ohio later this month. A full listing of the states to be included in
the program is below. 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. In states where a prescription is
required, Walgreens is available and eager to work with regulators to
help update rules to allow for dispensing of naloxone without a
prescription.

Walgreens will be joined at today’s launch, held at its Washington, D.C.
flagship store, by Director of National Drug Control Policy for the
White House Michael Botticelli. Also joining Director Botticelli at the
launch are special guests Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.); Rep. Bob Dold,
(R-Ill. 10); Lou Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office
of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration; and Michael
Nerheim, Lake County, Ill. State’s Attorney, who will share their
support for the program.

The medication disposal kiosks allow individuals to safely and
conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions,
including controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications, at no
cost. 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. The initial
installation of the safe medication disposal kiosks has begun in
California and is expected to be completed at more than 500 Walgreens
locations this year.

“Walgreens pharmacists play an important role in counseling patients on
the safe use of their medications, and now we are leading the way in
retail pharmacy’s fight against prescription drug abuse,” said Richard
Ashworth, Walgreens president of pharmacy and retail operations. “We
understand the challenges our communities face, and we stand ready to
help our patients and customers lead healthier lives. When the stakes
are this high, the solutions must be comprehensive.”

Prescription drug abuse continues to be a public health and safety risk.
According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an
estimated 6.5 million Americans misused a prescription drug in 2014, and
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of
47,055 drug overdose deaths, which include prescription and illicit
drugs, during the same year. That is a 6.5 percent increase from 2013
and a 140 percent increase since 2000. Most people who misuse
prescription drugs first obtain them from a family member or friend,
often from a home medicine cabinet.

“Providing safe and convenient disposal options for prescription drugs
and expanding access to the lifesaving overdose-reversal drug naloxone
are critical parts of our national strategy to stop the prescription
drug and heroin overdose epidemic, along with effective enforcement,
prevention and treatment,” said Director Botticelli. “Today’s
announcement builds on the public and private sector actions announced
by President Obama in October and demonstrates our strong commitment to
addressing the prescription drug abuse and heroin use epidemic as both a
public health and a public safety issue.”

“Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic among American teens. At the
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, we’re asking parents and grandparents to
pledge to safeguard their medicines and speak to their families about
medicine abuse,” said Marcia Lee Taylor, President and CEO of
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “The programs announced by Walgreens
today will go a long way toward helping put that pledge into practice.”

Walgreens also continues to participate in U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration (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 next DEA sponsored National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be
held on April 30.

“I commend Walgreens for stepping up to address the national epidemic of
prescription drug abuse and heroin overdose. Drug take-back programs and
over the counter access to naloxone are strong steps toward confronting
this crisis and preventing further tragedies like we see in Chicago’s
suburbs where heroin is taking a life, on average, every three days. My
Anti-Heroin Task Force and I have been working to get naloxone available
over the counter for families struggling with addiction, and now thanks
to Walgreens Illinois is one of 35 states where families will be able to
purchase this life-saving drug without a prescription,” said Sen. Kirk.

“Nearly one-quarter of people who try heroin become addicted, and their
addiction frequently starts with recreational use of the kind of drugs
that people too often leave lying around in medicine cabinets,” said
Rep. Dold. “But the statistics don’t even begin to tell the whole story.
As a co-chair of the Suburban Anti-Heroin Task Force in Illinois, I’ve
seen firsthand how these drugs destroy families. That’s why I’ve been
working with local leaders and businesses, such as Walgreens, to find
common-sense solutions to curb drug abuse, and in the coming days we’ll
also be introducing new legislation that will help save lives.”

“Take-back programs are an important and easy way for the public to
anonymously dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired medications,
and today’s announcement is a step in the right direction,” said DEA
Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “We look forward to the day when
safe drug disposal options are commonplace and hope this action inspires
others to create similar programs.”

“Our office is working tirelessly to increase awareness of the dangers
of drug overdose in Lake County,” said Nerheim, Lake County, Ill.
State’s Attorney. “Now, Walgreens is an important partner in helping to
bring change to our community, one I’ve called home my entire life.”

States Included in Walgreens Safe Medication Disposal Kiosk Program

By the end of the year, Walgreens will install safe medication disposal
kiosks at more than 500 drugstores in the following states:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District
of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi,
Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York,
Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin

State specific regulations prevent Walgreens from installing safe
medication disposal kiosks at this time in certain states.

States Included in Walgreens Naloxone Program

By the end of the year, Walgreens will make naloxone available without a
prescription at its pharmacies in the following states1:

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of
Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee,
Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin

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.

1 Montana and South Dakota only allow naloxone to be
dispensed without a prescription to the patient.

Contacts

Walgreens
Emily Hartwig, 847-315-3316
emily.hartwig@walgreens.com
http://news.walgreens.com
@WalgreensNews
facebook.com/Walgreens