Walmart fights opioid epidemic with new policies

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Walmart is making its opioid policy more strict, limiting the duration of such prescriptions and requiring that they be filled electronically.

The company said the new measures are part of the Walmart Opioid Stewardship Initiative, which includes DisposeRx, a program that helps patients dispose their leftover medications in trash at home.

Walmart Inc. says it will take more steps to reduce opioid medication abuse and misuse. Where state law for fills on new acute opioid prescriptions is less than seven days, Walmart and Sams Club will follow state law.

Additionally, Walmart said starting January 1, 2020, the company would require e-prescriptions for controlled substances, noting this prescription method would not be as prone to errors and can not be changed or duplicated. As a result, Walmart will implement new opioid training for its expansive roster of pharmacists. Pharmacists are urged to provide naloxone recommendations for patients who may be at risk for overdose, according to CDC guidelines. Patients with chronic Class II opioid prescriptions will receive the packet every six months. "Walmart is incredibly proud to fund this initiative that provides our patients with an opioid disposal solution they can access nationwide, at no cost". These guidelines suggest that clinicians should prescribe the "lowest effective dose" of opioids to treat pain, as its abuse often stems from such treatment. But unlike Walmart's NarxCare, the prescription drug monitoring programs are limited to the boundaries of each state. Several other companies have also been making similar efforts to help mitigate the opioid epidemic. Each week, over 260 million customers and members visit our more than 11,600 stores under almost 60 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity.

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