Wal-mart to limit opioid prescriptions at pharmacies below epidemic

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Earlier this year, the company announced free opioid medication disposal in all its US pharmacies.

All Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies in the US and Puerto Rico will fill new acute opioid prescriptions with no more than a seven-day supply, and will cap the daily dosage at 50 morphine milligram equivalents, the retail giant said in a statement on Monday. This policy is in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) guidelines for opioid use.

In addition to limiting opioid prescriptions to a one-week supply and offering DisposeRx, Walmart also announced it's switching to e-prescriptions in January 2020, which is expected to curb errors and corruption. The company urges lawmakers to establish a seven-day supply limit for initial prescriptions issued for acute pain and to require all controlled substance prescriptions be issued electronically, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration. In states that allow access, the retailer's pharmacists will have access to NarxCare, a tracking tool that helps pharmacy staff make dispensing decisions and provides real-time visibility into opioid prescribing across states. The pharmacy will also provide naloxone recommendations for certain 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.

Additional training and education on opioid stewardship for pharmacists, including a pain management curriculum.

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A Walmart spokesperson said it's part of an effort to battle the opioid crisis. Patients with chronic Class II opioid prescriptions will be offered a free DisposeRx packet every six months.

Walmart did not respond to a local newspaper's request for comment about its return policy at the time.

Wal mart declared Monday that the retail giant will begin to confine opioid prescriptions to aid stem the deadly medication outbreak.

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