Healthcare and pharmaceutical distribution company McKesson Corporation has announced a $100 million commitment in support of a newly established nonprofit and other efforts to combat the opioid crisis.
Separate from McKesson's existing foundation, the new nonprofit foundation will focus on initiatives to educate patients, caregivers, and providers; address key policy issues; and increase access to life-saving treatments, including opioid overdose reversal medications. The organization's work will be overseen by a board largely comprised of outside directors, including healthcare and subject matter experts.
Among other things, the company plans to work with pharmacies, policy makers, prescribers, and manufacturers to expedite development of a national prescription safety-alert system; facilitate e-prescribing to reduce fraudulent or counterfeit prescriptions; support limited-dose packaging; fast-track distribution of new non-opioid pain medications; and provide free training for pharmacists on the use of opioid overdose reversal medications.
"At McKesson, we are deeply concerned by the impact the opioid epidemic is having on families and communities across our nation. That's why we are taking new steps to help combat the epidemic," said McKesson chair and CEO John Hammergren. "These new initiatives will provide additional tools to fight abuse, combat overprescribing, and increase doctor and patient education. We believe our investment and continued actions can have a positive impact, particularly when done in partnership with others in the healthcare industry, as well as with government policy makers, administrators, and regulators."