Walmart and Sam’s Club’s pharmacies will limit some customers to a seven-day supply of opioids, as the retail giant moves to help stem the epidemic that kills more than 100 Americans a day.
The restrictions on initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain will start within the next 60 days, as well as a rule that the drugs would be limited to 50 morphine milligrams a day, Walmart said in a statement.
On average, 115 people die in the U.S. each day from an opioid overdose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We are taking action in the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic,” said Marybeth Hays, executive vice president of Health & Wellness and Consumables, 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.”
Monday’s announcement comes more than four months after Walmart said it would give consumers filling opioid prescriptions a packet of powder to help get dispense of leftover medication.
Walmart also said it would require e-prescriptions for controlled substances starting in 2020, noting they’d been shown to be less susceptible to errors and could not be changed or copied.
A bill introduced in the Senate would limit first-time prescriptions for opioids to three days.
I think it should be the job of the physician who treats the patient to decide what is and is not appropriate. This strikes me as the wrong approach.