Walmart on Monday announced that the retail giant would start to restrict opioid prescriptions to control drug epidemic. The company said in a statement that, within 60 days it is going to see only first-time acute opioid prescriptions which are seven days or less. It is also going to limit the dosage to about 50 morphine milligram equivalents per day.
These new rules come to force after recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A study which was done by CDC, says that the people who all were prescribed this drug at least for one day had got about 6 percent chance of being addictive to this drug a year later.
The people who are prescribed eight or more days of treatment had shown about 13.5 percent increase in their addiction rate. The CDC also said that sometimes a patient dies due to an overdose of the opioid drugs.
As per CDC, it said about 115 Americans die each day due to opioid overdose. These include prescriptions and heroin which already killed 42,000 people in the US during the year 2016 which is a record till now. Some states have already started to apply the new rule by limiting the prescriptions to about seven days or fewer.
In 2020, Walmart will start to require e-prescriptions for the controlled substances. This will help the company to minimize the prescription fraud and errors as all the things will be done online. E-prescriptions cannot be altered or copied, and they are trackable electronically.
According to Marybeth Hays, who is the executive vice president of US Walmart’s Consumables, health and Wellness said, “We are taking action in the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic. 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, the company had developed a way to destroy the leftover opioids at home. The company saidDisposeRX which is a powder which when combined with water and the pills will create a gel which is difficult to remove from its container. This mixture can be thrown out of home or left at a drop off location. DisposeRX will start available online.
This new guideline comes after four months after Walmart asked its customers to collect DisposeRX who were filling opioid prescriptions full of powder to dispose of them.