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Walmart to restrict opioid dispensing to seven-day supply

BY Marianne Wilson

The nation’s largest retailer is introducing new policies, programs and tools aimed at curbing opioid misuse and abuse.

The discounter said it will limit initial acute opioid prescriptions to no more than a seven-day supply, with a daily 50-morphine-mg-equivalent maximum, at Walmart and Sam’s Clubs pharmacies. The policy is in line with opioid guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, as of Jan. 1, 2020, Walmart and Sam’s Club will require e-prescriptions for controlled substances.

Also, by the end of August, Walmart said:

• Its pharmacists would have access to controlled substance tracking tool NarxCare, which can help them make dispensing decisions by providing real-time interstate visibility;

• It is reinforcing that pharmacists recommend naloxone — which it stocks at all of its stores and clubs — to patients who might be at risk for overdose based on CDC guidelines; and

• It will provide additional training and education for pharmacists regarding opioid stewardship, including a pain management curriculum.

“We are taking action in the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic,” said Marybeth Hays, executive VP of health and wellness and consumables for 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.”

In January, Walmart the company announced it would offer a free opioid disposal solution, DisposeRx, given to any patient filling a new Class II opioid prescription, in all its pharmacies nationwide.

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