We’re helping people on their path to better health. Every day, we work hard to make quality health care more affordable, more sustainable and more accessible. Through Project Health, we have provided more than $113 million worth of free medical services at CVS Pharmacy stores.
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company with a clear purpose: helping people on their path to better health by addressing critical health issues.
One of those issues is access to quality, affordable health care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 12 percent of the U.S. population in 2015 lacked a usual place to go for medical care. CVS Health is providing greater access through our 1,100 MinuteClinics. More than 50 percent of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a MinuteClinic, and MinuteClinics have received more than 34 million patient visits.
Another critical health issue is effectively dealing with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. About half of all Americans suffer from one or more of these conditions, and chronic diseases account for 86 percent of overall health care costs. We’re helping patients better monitor their conditions, adhere to regimes and medications, and prevent dangerous side effects. Through Project Health, we have provided $113 million worth of free medical services at CVS Pharmacy locations.
We’ve also been addressing stresses on the U.S. health care system caused by smoking and opioid addiction. After ending the sale of tobacco products in 2014, we committed to help people lead tobacco-free lives. In 2016 we launched Be The First, a five-year, $50 million initiative to help deliver the first tobacco-free generation. This initiative supports education, advocacy and healthy behavior programming in partnership with best-in-class partners, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Cancer Society.
To address the opioid epidemic, we’ve given CVS Pharmacy stores in 37 states the ability to dispense an overdose remedy without a prescription and have donated more than 600 medication take-back bins to local law enforcement agencies across the country. Through this program, we have collected more than 56 metric tons of unused medications. We also deployed Pharmacists Teach, a program in which our pharmacists volunteer in schools to share information around the dangers of prescription drug abuse and misuse. This program has reached nearly 175,000 students.
We also believe there is a vital link between human health and the health of our planet, so we’re working to limit the environmental impact of our business operations. In 2015, we achieved a 16 percent reduction in carbon intensity, exceeding our 2018 greenhouse gas reduction target ahead of schedule.
We are committed to continuous innovation in helping people on their path to better health because health is everything.