Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Walmart to limit opioid prescriptions at pharmacies

Walmart changes opioid prescription policies Wal-mart to limit opioid prescriptions at pharmacies below epidemic
Delia Stanley | 09 May, 2018, 01:02

This action is part of Walmart's Opioid Stewardship Initiative which focuses on reducing opioid abuse and misuse.

Taking another step to battle the nation's opioid crisis, Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies will provide no more than a seven day supply of the medications to some customers.

Walmart also said it would require e-prescriptions for controlled substances starting in 2020, noting they'd been shown to be less susceptible to errors and could not be changed or copied.

The modernized pharmacy guidelines come four months after Walmart said it would provide clients who were advised opioid prescriptions per packet of powder to dispose of extra medication.

The new measures are an extension of Walmart's efforts to fight the United States opioid epidemic. Many have found that overprescribing is often a culprit, as it increases the amount of opioids in circulation, thereby increasing the potential for addiction.

RELATEDPrograms to monitor opioid drug use may drive some to heroin Study
RELATEDPrograms to monitor opioid drug use may drive some to heroin Study

According to USA Today, CVS Health similarly said in September that it would limit initial acute opioid prescriptions to seven-day supplies for new patients.

While experts agree that safe disposal of leftover opioid drugs is an important measure to fight the epidemic, they point out that plenty of options for the safe tossing of painkillers already exist.

Pharmacists will counsel patients using the CDC's guidelines on pain management, focusing on using the lowest effective dose for pain management for the shortest time possible. The CDC publishes MME conversion guides to help pharmacists figure out the right dosage for each type of prescribed opioid. These programs are educational tools that empower students with information and skills to address the opioid epidemic, should they face it in their community.

The Bentonville, Ark. -based company operates more than 11,700 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries, as well as ecommerce websites.

What Other Pharmacies Will Follow Walmart's Lead?

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