26
April
2018
|
09:14 PM
America/New_York

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Teams up with Walgreens to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse Through Expanded Safe Medication Disposal Program

(Neptune City, NJ, April 26, 2018) – In the midst of an opioids epidemic in which even the home medicine cabinet can become an easy target for substance misuse, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) has joined with Walgreens to help make it simple and convenient for the public to get rid of unwanted, unused or expired medications. New Jersey residents can now safely dispose of unwanted prescriptions, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications, year-round in safe medication disposal kiosks available at 16 select Walgreens locations throughout New Jersey.

“Safe medication disposal is one of the best ways to ensure that drugs are not accidently used or intentionally misused by someone else,” said Mary Ann Christopher, Horizon BCBSNJ Vice President and Chief of Clinical Operations and Transformation. “Horizon is proud to work with Walgreens to give the public a convenient, no-cost option for ridding their homes of unwanted medications.”

Horizon joined Walgreens and local elected officials at the Walgreens store at 1905 Rt. 33 in Neptune City, which is one of 16 new locations in New Jersey – and part of a national expansion nationwide – to raise public awareness to the everyday option for safe medication disposal.

Mayor Nicholas Williams of Neptune Township (L) and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling drop off unwanted prescription medications into the safe disposal kiosk at Walgreens.

“We are proud to work with organizations from throughout the health care community to make it even easier for people to dispose of their unwanted medications,” said Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy operations, Walgreens. “The expansion of the program throughout New Jersey is a great example of health care organizations coming together in collaboration to address a real health crisis facing the country.”

Walgreens is in the process of expanding its safe medication disposal kiosks to an additional 900 locations. When the expansion is complete, kiosks will be available in 1,500 Walgreens locations across the country. Since the program began, Walgreens has collected more than 270 tons of unwanted medication.

Monmouth County Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling today joined Horizon and Walgreens in helping promote the availability of the new safe drug disposal option in Neptune. “Addiction often begins with a prescription and is fueled by the medicine cabinet. Whether patients are over-prescribed an opioid medication that leads to dependency or a family member abuses medications that are not theirs, New Jersey’s medicine cabinets are veritable one-stop-shops for addiction. That is why it is so important that companies like Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Walgreens give New Jerseyans a safe and easy way to responsibly dispose of their unused or leftover medications,” Assemblyman Houghtaling said.

Assemblywoman Joann Downey also underscored the need to bring the fight against drug misuse to the home, where addiction problems can unwittingly begin or be abetted. “We implore the residents of Monmouth County to clean out their medicine cabinets and safely dispose of their medications not only on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, but year round. Together, we can do our part in fighting the opioid epidemic,” she said

(L-R) Zinda Moderno, Walgreens Store Manager; Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling; Mary Ann Christopher, Horizon BCBSNJ Vice President and Chief of Clinical Operations and Transformation; Mayor Nicholas Williams of Neptune Township; Mark Marino; Walgreens Pharmacy Manager

The other locations where Horizon has partnered with Walgreens to place kiosks for safe medication disposal are in the following New Jersey communities:

Carlstadt, East Brunswick, East Orange, Elizabeth, Elmwood Park, Hamilton, Jersey City, Millville, Parsippany, Pennsauken, Perth Amboy, Somerville, Toms River, Union and Waldwick.

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.8 million members.

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state's oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, vision and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.8 million members.