The Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic is a complicated, multi-faceted public health crisis, which must be addressed through a comprehensive and collaborative approach. We are committed to engaging with all who share our dedication and are acting with urgency to address this national crisis.

With our deep expertise in pharmaceutical distribution, analytics and information technology as well as our relationships with pharmacies, policymakers and manufacturers, McKesson is advancing the below set of initiatives aimed at addressing several issues contributing to the opioid epidemic:

Harnessing available data to identify individuals at-risk of opioid abuse

We have invested in the development of a national system that uses prescription information to provide real-time alerts to pharmacists and, ultimately, prescribers, indicating when additional information may be needed before dispensing opioids. To learn more and watch a short video explanation, visit the Prescription Safety Alert System section.

Reducing fraudulent or counterfeit prescriptions through e-prescribing

We will stop selling opioids to customers who cannot accept e-prescribing¹ of controlled substances on December 31, 2019. We are engaging with customers who need to make this transition and will continue to advocate that Congress require mandatory e-prescribing of opioids.

Reducing amounts dispensed to prevent misuse

To make it easier for doctors to prescribe and pharmacists to dispense in smaller doses, we have engaged with our opioid manufacturing partners to explore opportunities for limited-dose packaging.

Free pharmacist training on opioid overdose reversal medications

We have provided pharmacists with complimentary training by independent medical experts on how to administer medications such as naloxone. As of June 2019, more than 1,200 pharmacists have participated in the training and we will continue delivering additional trainings through 2020.

Educating our customers

We are proactively educating customers about the importance of complying with DEA and state agency regulations and identifying warning signs of prescription abuse and diversion. With help from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the National Association of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA), we have created toolkits and educational materials to help pharmacists identify the warning signs of prescription opioid abuse and diversion and engage with patients, caregivers and prescribers, when appropriate.

In addition, many pharmacies have access to tools for ensuring safe opioid disposal, appropriate naloxone dispensing and referrals for addiction treatment. We will continue to proactively engage and educate our pharmacy customers.

¹Exceptions to be made as appropriate for certain populations

McKesson Opioid Foundation

McKesson formed the independent Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to combating the opioid crisis in the United States and appointed Dr. Andrea Barthwell as board chair and Dr. Karen Scott as president. FORE’s vision is to inspire and accelerate action to end the opioid epidemic with patients at the center. FORE is focused on supporting programs and grants in four key areas: provider education, payer strategies, policy initiatives and public awareness. McKesson committed $100 million to FORE as part of its ongoing mission of delivering better care for patients. For more information on FORE, please visit https://forefdn.org.

  • Opioid Resources

    McKesson’s Opioid Initiatives, New Foundation

    Learn more about how McKesson’s new company initiatives will help fight the opioid epidemic, including the formation of a foundation dedicated to combating the crisis.

    Learn more

    Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

    McKesson works closely with pharmacies and manufacturers to ensure pharmacies have the medications their patients need. See how medications move through the supply chain.

    Learn more

    Controlled Substance Monitoring Program

    Our CSMP uses sophisticated algorithms designed to monitor for suspicious orders, and block the shipment of controlled substances.

    Learn more

    Opioid Policy Recommendations

    McKesson has offered policy recommendations that can improve prescribing and dispensing practices, limit the supply of opioids and facilitate better information sharing.

    Learn more
  • VIDEO

    James LeBrocq: A Brighter Future for Youth

    McKesson Community Hero James LeBrocq works one-on-one with young people to help them overcome opioid abuse and integrate into society.

  • PUBLIC AFFAIRS

    Advocating for Better Health

    With our 360-degree view of the healthcare landscape, McKesson recognizes its responsibility to participate in the public policy process. Our Public Affairs team builds and maintains working relationships with officials at every level of government.

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