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Retail giant Walmart adding policy aimed at opioid abuse

09 May 2018

Walmart's policy follows a similar initiative introduced by CVS last September to limit opioid prescriptions for new patients to a seven-day supply.

Another change coming to Walmart and Sam's Club will be a requirement as of January 1, 2020 that controlled substances have e-prescriptions, a format that makes it more hard to alter or copy a script, while also making prescriptions easier to monitor.

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They said that e-prescriptions are proven to be less prone to errors and cannot be altered or copied, and they can be tracked electronically. Aetna said in December it would waive copays for Narcan, a brand name for the opioid overdose-reversal medication naloxone, and would limit first-time opioid prescriptions. Now, pharmacists can also counsel patients on how to use DisposeRx and distribute an opioid awareness brochure outlining risks and helpful resources.

The company believes education on prescription drug abuse is a key part of the solution. "We are proud to implement these policies and initiatives as we work to create solutions that address this critical issue facing the patients and communities we serve".

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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.

Opioid limits have garnered support from various stakeholders, and a bill in the Senate would restrict initial prescriptions for acute pain to three days.

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The largest retailer in the country is taking action to curb abuse of prescription painkillers by limiting patients to a seven day supply of opioids. Each week, almost 270 million customers and members visit our more than 11,700 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites. Walmart shares are down 2.1% in Monday trading, and down 13.2% for the year to date.

Retail giant Walmart adding policy aimed at opioid abuse