Walmart announces seven-day limit on opioids

09 May, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Homer Porter
  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 115 Americans die on average every day from an opioid overdose

The company said the limits will go into effect within 60 days at all Walmart and Sam's Club stores in the United State and Puerto Rico.

On May 7, Walmart and Sam's Club announced plans to restrict acute opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply.

Some states have their own laws limiting how many days' worth of opioids pharmacies can provide; Walmart says in those cases, its pharmacies will follow state regulations.

Walmart and Sam's Club stores will also require e-prescriptions for controlled substances starting January 1, 2020, because they're less likely to be altered and copied, and they're easier to track. Along with reducing the risk of errors, e-prescriptions can not be altered or copied and are electronically trackable, according to the company.

"The health and safety of our patients is a critical priority; that's why we're taking an active role in fighting our nation's opioid issue - an issue that has affected so many families and communities across America", said Marybeth Hays, executive vice president of Consumables and Health and Wellness at Walmart U.S. The agency adds that three days or less worth of opioids "will often be sufficient" in acute pain cases for new patients, while "more than seven days will rarely be needed".

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The Company also stated that by the end of August 2018, pharmacists will have access to and use NarxCare, a controlled substance tracking tool that shows real-time interstate visibility (in states that permit access).

Walmart will also continue to sponsor youth-based curriculums on the risks associated with prescription drug abuse, among them Prescription for Life with EverFi. Existing pharmacy patients can request a free DisposeRx packet at any time. Several other companies have also been making similar efforts to help mitigate the opioid epidemic.

Walmart expects online prescriptions to help prevent fraud and minimize error.

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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