As President Donald Trump held a ceremony to sign a massive package aimed at combating the opioid crisis into law on Wednesday, the administration also announced commitments of support from large companies including Amazon, Cigna, CVS Health, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Walmart.
Speaking from the East Room of the White House, Trump said the Support for Patient and Communities Act was meant to build on progress made earlier in the year aimed at curbing opioid misuse and deaths from overdoses.
"Together we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America," Trump said.
CVS Health officials promised to install 1,100 permanent medication disposal units by the end of next year, while Rite Aid said it would offer free DisposeRx packets with new opioid prescriptions. Meanwhile, Google said it would launch a partnership with Walgreens to display permanent drug disposal locations on Google Maps.
The legislation was sent to the President's desk by Congress earlier this month following a bipartisan effort to address the growing crisis and was seen as a win for members of both parties ahead of the midterm elections next month. The law includes $8.5 billion in appropriations including funding for hospitals who treat patients with addiction.
It also includes measures to halt illegal drugs at the border, a measure to allow the Food and Drug Administration to require prescription opioids to be packaged in set amounts, support for development of nonaddictive drugs for pain, and allowing doctors to have access to a consenting patient's prior history of addiction as they make treatment decisions.