McKesson Company Initiatives

In March 2018, we committed to using our deep expertise in pharmaceutical distribution, analytics, and information technology – and our relationships with pharmacies, policymakers, prescribers, manufacturers, and others – to advance the below set of initiatives aimed at addressing several of issues contributing to the opioid epidemic.

As part of this effort, we committed to providing an annual update on our progress. Our first progress report is now available – click here to download the Progress Report on McKesson Initiatives to Help Address the Opioid Epidemic (PDF, 796 KB).

National Prescription Safety-Alert System (RxSAS)

To identify patients who are at risk for opioid overuse, abuse, addiction, or misuse, we will invest 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.

Facilitate e-prescribing

To reduce fraudulent or counterfeit prescriptions, during 2019 we will stop selling opioids to customers¹ who cannot accept e-prescribing of controlled substances and will engage with those customers who may need to make this transition. We continue to advocate that Congress require mandatory e-prescribing of opioids.

Limited-dose packaging

To make it easier for doctors to prescribe and pharmacists to dispense in smaller doses, and to reduce potential for unused product, we will proactively engage with all opioid manufacturing partners this calendar year to develop plans for limited-dose packaging.

Fast-track distribution of new, non-opioid pain medications

To improve access to medicines, we will work with manufacturing partners to facilitate immediate availability on a national basis of non-opioid pain medication once approved by FDA.

Free pharmacist training on opioid overdose reversal medications

We will offer pharmacists complimentary training by independent medical experts on how to administer medications such as naloxone.

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. We provide our customers with literature on how to identify the warning signs of prescription opioid abuse and diversion. We also conduct informational meetings for customer groups and make presentations at medical annual trade shows and pharmacy association meetings to emphasize the importance of preventing diversion.

¹Exceptions to be made for certain populations

New Foundation

We are supporting the formation of a foundation dedicated to combating the crisis and committing $100 million to the newly-formed organization. The foundation is expected to focus on education for patients, caregivers, and providers, addressing key policy issues, and increasing access to life-saving treatments, such as opioid overdose reversal medications. The foundation’s work will be overseen by a board comprised of a majority of outside directors including healthcare and subject matter experts. Details on leadership, strategic priorities, and criteria for giving will be announced in the coming months. This new foundation is distinct from our existing non-profit foundation whose key focus is on supporting better care for cancer patients.

Additional Partnerships

The opioid epidemic is a complicated, multi-faceted public health crisis that cannot be solved by any one participant or idea. It needs to be addressed through a partnership approach that deploys the best thinking across the country. Below are some of the ways that we are working with others to advance unique solutions to help address the opioid crisis.

Helping prevent substance abuse among veterans

As part of our long-standing commitment to supporting veterans, we are working with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) to launch a substance abuse prevention pilot program tailored specifically to veterans. Five community coalitions from CADCA's National Coalition Academy are creating and implementing action plans based on the specific demographics of their local veteran population. We have provided funds to CADCA to create programs, services and tools that are specific to the unique needs of veterans struggling with addiction.

Distributing drug deactivation pouches in Pennsylvania

We joined the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office to help combat opioid abuse by delivering drug deactivation pouches to local communities. Our sales and account management teams worked with pharmacies in the 12 counties to encourage participation. The company leveraged our local distribution centers and transportation network to deliver 300,000 pouches to participating pharmacies.

Building awareness through public education

As part of our membership in the pharmaceutical distributors' trade association, Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA), we are supporting the Allied Against Opioid Abuse opioid education and awareness campaign.

  • 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

    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.