Walmart to provide only 7 days' worth of opioids for some patients

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The CDC says that prescriptions for acute pain should be targeted in the fight against the opioid epidemic because "long-term opioid use often begins with treatment of acute pain".

National pharmacy retailers have increasingly been proactive in addressing the wave of opioid addiction that has decimated communities across the US, providing services ranging from counseling to sites and methods that allow for the safe disposal of medications.

The new cap is the equivalent of 50 morphine milligrams per day, which Walmart said is is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Walmart is also pledging to require patients to use e-prescriptions for any controlled substances by 2020, which they said are easier to track and make script forgeries or alterations hard. The company claims E-prescriptions are proven to be less prone to errors because they can not be altered or copied and are electronically traceable. In addition, where allowed by state law, pharmacies will have naloxone behind the counter and ready to dispense upon request. The company believes this will help the distribution of medication via forged prescriptions.

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

Walmart said it offers DisposeRx, a powder for disposing of opioids, free in all of its pharmacies.

Walmart will also continue to sponsor youth-based curriculums on the risks associated with prescription drug abuse, among them Prescription for Life with EverFi.

Florida's law, which was passed this year as part of a larger bill, puts a three-day limit on opioids prescribed for patients with acute pain. "I commend Walmart for taking this innovative approach to help keep unused prescription drugs out of the wrong hands", said Sen. These programs are educational tools that empower students with information and skills to address the opioid epidemic, should they face it in their community.

The Bentonville, Ark. -based company operates more than 11,700 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries, as well as ecommerce websites.

What Other Pharmacies Will Follow Walmart's Lead?

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