Walmart Plans on Restricting Supply on Acute Opioid Prescription Fills

For states that currently limit new acute opioid prescription fills to

Walmart Inc. announced plans to restrict initial acute opioid prescriptions to a maximum 7-day supply, with up to 50 morphine milligram equivalent maximum per day. This action is part of Walmart’s Opioid Stewardship Initiative which focuses on reducing opioid abuse and misuse. 

The new opioid fill limit will go into effect within the next 60 days; the policy is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s guidelines regarding opioid use. For states that currently limit new acute opioid prescription fills to <7 days, Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies will follow that state law. 

The Company also stated that by the end of August 2018, pharmacists will have access to and use NarxCare, a controlled substance tracking tool that shows real-time interstate visibility (in states that permit access).

In addition, where allowed by state law, pharmacies will have naloxone behind the counter and ready to dispense upon request. Pharmacists are urged to provide naloxone recommendations for patients who may be at risk for overdose, according to CDC guidelines. 

Other actions initiated by the Company include:

  • Patients filling any new Class II opioid prescription will receive a free DisposeRx packet and opioid safety information brochure when picking up their prescription. Patients with chronic Class II opioid prescriptions will be offered a free DisposeRx packet every six months. Existing pharmacy patients can request a free DisposeRx packet at any time.
  • Additional training and education on opioid stewardship for pharmacists, including a pain management curriculum.
  • Pharmacists will counsel patients using the CDC’s guidelines on pain management, focusing on using the lowest effective dose for pain management for the shortest time possible.

The Company also announced that as of January 1, 2020, pharmacies will require e-prescriptions for controlled substances. 

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This article originally appeared on MPR