Walmart Announces New Measures to Cut Opioid Abuse

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 115 Americans die on average every day from an opioid overdose

Drug abuse experts say many patients do not use all of the opioids they are are prescribed, particularly if they receive more than one week's worth.

The company announced in January it would offer a free opioid disposal solution, DisposeRx, in all its pharmacies nationwide.

Within sixty days, Walmart and Sam's Club plan to restrict some opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply with a maximum of 50 milligrams of morphine per day.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 115 Americans die on average every day from an opioid overdose.

Walmart intends to roll-out newer restrictions on opioid prescriptions in the summertime, while also announcing that they will require e-prescriptions come 2020. The e-prescriptions are deemed to minimize error and prevent prescription frauds.

Also, by August 2018, Walmart and Sam's Club's pharmacists will have access to a controlled substance tracking tool called NarxCare. Pharmacists are urged to provide naloxone recommendations for patients who may be at risk for overdose, according to CDC guidelines. &ldquoWe are pleased to execute these policies and initiatives because we work to generate solutions that address this crucial issue facing both the patients and communities we function.

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The stores are also providing additional education and training for their pharmacists on opioids and noloxone.

A Walmart spokesperson said it's part of an effort to battle the opioid crisis.

The company said the new measures are part of the Walmart Opioid Stewardship Initiative, which includes DisposeRx, a program that helps patients dispose their leftover medications in trash at home. "I commend Walmart for taking this innovative approach to help keep unused prescription drugs out of the wrong hands", said Sen. Existing pharmacy patients can request a free DisposeRx packet at any time.

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

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