Here are three things to know. When mixed with warm water, the powder turns the pills into a biodegradable gel that can be thrown in the trash.
Walmart pharmacies will provide Dispose-RX at no cost to patients filling new class-two opioid prescriptions.
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The world's largest retailer announced the new disposal system, known as DisposeRx, on Wednesday, with plans to make it available to use for free at all of its 4,700 US pharmacies. Patients who fill Class II opioid prescriptions on an ongoing basis will receive one complimentary packet every six months.
Once the pills have been dissolved, it's relatively hard to extract the opioid as well, DisposeRx CEO John Holaday told reporters on a call.
More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, with most of those deaths related to prescription opioids or illegal opioids such as heroin.
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According to a statement issued Wednesday morning, the company is now offering DisposeRX, a waste disposal solution, for free at Walmart pharmacies and Sam's Club pharmacies nationwide.
The unique DisposeRx packets contain a crosslinking polymer blend. "I commend Walmart for taking this innovative approach to help keep unused prescription drugs out of the wrong hands".
Although the offer of DisposeRX for free is coming as a result of the opioid epidemic, the product works on any type of prescription drug, according to Holaday.
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Walmart touted an endorsement of its move from Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said that "about one-third of medications sold go unused. Too often, these unsafe narcotics remain unsecured where children, teens or visitors may have access", which really drives home the necessity for this newly-established program. The company supports legislation imposing a seven-day supply limit for initial prescriptions for acute pain and the requirement that all controlled-substance prescriptions be issued electronically, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration.