Walmart, Sam's Club announce opioid prescription changes

Walmart, Sam's Club announce opioid prescription changes

Walmart, Sam's Club announce opioid prescription changes

The retail giant announced Monday that it will begin limiting supplies of acute opioid prescriptions to no more than seven days, with up to a 50 morphine milligram equivalent maximum per day.

This policy follows U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for opioid use.

The new seven-day cap on opioids will be implemented at all U.S. Walmart and Sam's Club stores in the next 60 days, the company said.

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 urges lawmakers to establish a seven-day supply limit for initial prescriptions issued for acute pain and to require all controlled substance prescriptions be issued electronically, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Walmart also said it would use NarxCare, a tool that analyzes real-time controlled substance data from Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs. Pharmacists are urged to provide naloxone recommendations for patients who may be at risk for overdose, according to CDC guidelines.

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.

Additional training and education on opioid stewardship for pharmacists, including a pain management curriculum. Patients with chronic Class II opioid prescriptions will receive the packet every six months. In January, Walmart said it would start giving patients filling opioid prescriptions a packet of powder to help them get rid of leftover medication. Existing pharmacy patients can request a free DisposeRx packet at any time. Each week, almost 270 million customers and members visit our more than 11,700 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites.

Walmart is the fourth leading pharmacy in the country, with sales topping 18 billion dollars a year.

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