Walmart to restrict opioids prescriptions at its pharmacies

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It's not the first measure to curb opioid use that Walmart has taken in in recent months.

Earlier this year, Walmart announced the rollout of a free opioid disposal solution, DisposeRx, at its pharmacies nationwide.

Plans call for Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies, within the next 60 days, to begin limiting initial acute opioid prescriptions to no more than a seven-day supply, capping the maximum per day at up to a 50-milligram morphine equivalent.

The new restrictions follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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By 2020, the company said that it would require e-prescriptions for controlled substances because there are fewer errors with this format. The corporation says that e-prescriptions can not be altered and are "electronically trackable".

Pharmacists also will undergo a pain management curriculum, using the CDC's guidelines on pain management to counsel patients.

Meanwhile, the AMA (American Medical Association) has countered that the limits over opioid dosage & supply are arbitrary and believes that the decision needs to be left between the physician and the patient.

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

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With that in mind, Walmart also provides a way for customers to safely destroy unused opioids by issuing packets of DisposeRx, a powder that when mixed with water forms a gel around the pills, making them impossible to take.

With 5,300 stores in the U.S., Walmart is one of the largest distributors of prescription drugs in the country.

Walmart did not respond to a local newspaper's request for comment about its return policy at the time. These programs are educational tools that empower students with information and skills to address the opioid epidemic, should they face it in their community. Each week, almost 270 million customers and members visit our more than 11,700 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites.

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