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In Focus

IBC Foundation teams with Walgreens to reduce prescription drug abuse through expanded safe medication disposal

Stephen P. Fera and Governor Tom Wolf

Stephen P. Fera, of Independence Blue Cross, with Governor Tom Wolf.

Stephen P. Fera, senior vice president of Public Affairs for Independence Blue Cross, joined Governor Tom Wolf and representatives from Walgreens to highlight safe medication disposal kiosks throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. These kiosks allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of unwanted prescriptions, including controlled substances such as opioids and over-the-counter medications year-round, at no cost.

Through its Supporting Treatment and Overdose Prevention (STOP) initiative, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) has awarded nearly $1 million dollars to help fight the opioid crisis. This total includes grants to area nonprofits and support of the installation of five new Walgreen kiosks throughout the southeastern region of Pennsylvania, including the kiosk located at the Broad and Chestnut store where this event was held.

“In partnership with Walgreens, we provide safe and accessible locations for our community members to discard unused, unwanted or expired medications.” said Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of the Foundation. “This initiative highlights our commitment to ongoing state and federal prescription drug take back programs.” The next National Prescription Drug Take Back day is April 27. Check the Foundation’s website to find a participating site.

The STOP initiative aims to increase awareness and access to effective community-based opioid treatment and prevention through these and other initiatives:

  • Someone You Know, a grassroots effort of the Foundation that shares real stories of addiction and recovery — through print, video, and community events — to reduce the stigma and humanize the disease of addiction.
  • A regional study to examine the utilization and effectiveness of warm hand-off programs that connect overdose survivors immediately with treatment programs.


Independence Blue Cross Foundation Team

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is leading a future for equitable health in our communities and nation. The IBC Foundation’s grant programs and the Independence Blue Cross Foundation Institute for Health Equity are advancing three areas of impact: Access to Care, the Healthcare Workforce, and Health Equity. Since inception the IBC Foundation’s most important stakeholder – the community – has been at the center of the work. By the end of 2023, the IBC Foundation will have awarded grants totaling more than $80 million to support nonprofits and research improving the health and well-being of communities in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Learn more by visiting our website: Connect with the Independence Blue Cross Foundation on LinkedIn.

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