BENTONVILLE AR (RNN) – Walmart Inc. announced that changes will be made to its opioid prescription policies to help curb abuse and misuse.
Within the next 60 days, Walmart and Sam’s Club will limit new opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply. The company will allow a 50 morphine milligram equivalent maximum per day.
“This policy is in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for opioid use. Where state law for fills on new acute opioid prescriptions is less than seven days, Walmart and Sam’s Club will follow state law,” said the company in a statement Monday.
The company also stated that as of Jan. 1, 2020, Walmart and Sam’s Club will require e-prescriptions for controlled substances.
They said that e-prescriptions are proven to be less prone to errors and cannot be altered or copied, and they can be tracked electronically.
Pharmacists also will undergo a pain management curriculum, using the CDC’s guidelines on pain management to counsel patients.
The company said the curriculum will help pharmacists focus on using the lowest effective dose for pain management for the shortest time possible.
The company announced in January it would offer a free opioid disposal solution, DisposeRx, in all its pharmacies nationwide.
“We are taking action in the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic,” said Marybeth Hays, an executive vice president with Walmart U.S. “We are proud to implement these policies and initiatives as we work to create solutions that address this critical issue facing the patients and communities we serve.”
The CDC stated 115 Americans died every day from opioid overdoses in 2016, totaling more than 42,000 drug overdose deaths.