Tell CVS: Stop Superbug Pollution

  • by: Brenda U.
  • recipient: Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS Health

Tell CVS to help us avoid a global health crisis by ridding their supply chain of antibiotic pollution, which contributes to the development and spread of superbugs.

Superbugs are becoming a major global health crisis. Infections caused by these multi-drug-resistant bacteria don’t respond to antibiotics, making even the simplest illness life-threatening.

I should know. In 2007, I was hospitalized with an infection on my foot. That infection turned out to be MRSA, a multi-drug resistant type of staph infection. Doctors struggled to contain it. The infection was so serious, and so deadly, they proposed amputating my leg to prevent the superbug from spreading further. The prospect of losing my leg to an infection was one of the scariest moments in my life.

Fortunately, my doctors were able to bring the infection under control without amputating. They saved my leg and my life. But stories like mine are becoming more and more common. Not all of them have a happy ending.

I don’t want anyone else to suffer as I have. Sign the petition to demand CVS play its part in preventing stories like mine.

When it comes to superbugs, it’s all or nothing. If we allow any door to drug resistance to remain open, there will be more and more people like me. That is why antibiotic pollution is so scary—little is being done to stop drug resistance through the back door. Bad drug manufacturers are silently polluting rivers and streams in countries with weak regulatory bodies, creating a “giant Petri dish” for superbugs that can easily be brought here.

CVS is one of the largest drug retailers in the U.S., giving them tremendous power in the global drug marketplace. Tell CVS to use that power to stop buying from known polluters, such as repeat polluter Aurobindo, and ensure that they do everything in their power to clean up their supply chain.

Experts say that growing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the gravest threats to human health and could once again make common illnesses, minor surgery, and routine operations such as hip replacements a life-or-death gamble. Global deaths as a result of drug-resistant infections are projected to reach 10 million per year by 2050, with cumulative economic losses of $100 trillion.

To find out more read:
- Mighty Earth, Antibiotic factories compounding superbug spread 
- E&E News, Medical waste feeds 'superbug' outbreak

Dear Mr. Merlo,

Antibiotic pollution from factories that manufacture pharmaceuticals contributes to antimicrobial resistance, and you have the power to stop it. CVS can help contribute to a solution by requiring your suppliers to ensure that antibiotics sold in CVS stores are produced in facilities that properly dispose of factory waste. Act now to drop suppliers with bad records on pollution (like Aurobindo) until they clean up their act.

Update #27 years ago
My friends at Mighty are fighting pharma pollution tomorrow at the CPhI North America Convention. Help us out by tweeting at CVS and sharing this Facebook post.

You can also follow @StandMighty on Facebook and Twitter for live updates and video of their bacteria flash mob.

Thank you for your support as we work to combat antibiotic manufacturing pollution that contributes to the rise and spread of superbugs.
Update #17 years ago
Thanks for signing on to ask CVS Health to eliminate superbug pollution from its supply chains. I’m writing to share that your support has helped embolden a larger campaign. Together with environmental org Mighty Earth, we made a splash at the NACDS conference this weekend, culminating in handing the Bad Medicine report chronicling how antibiotic pollution has infected pharma to executives from Aurobindo Pharma, one of the worst polluters. I’m looking forward to doing more to stop superbugs!
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