With the country in the midst of an opioid epidemic, Walmart is taking efforts to curtail drug abuse by its customers.
Officials announced Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies around the country will fill all opioid prescriptions with no more than a seven-day supply, capping daily dosages at 50 morphine milligram equivalents.
The new policy is in line with guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding opioid use and abuse. The new policy is expected to be implemented nationwide within two months. Walmart employees are expected to get additional training and education on the opioid crisis.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 115 people in the United States die from overdosing opioids each day, including dozens in the tri-state area, which has led to a national crisis.
Earlier this year, Walmart began offering free opioid disposal solution, DisposeRx, at its pharmacies nationwide. Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy patients filling any opioid prescription received a free DisposeRx packet and opioid safety information brochure when picking up their medication.
Emergency room visits connected with suspected opioid overdoses rose almost 30 percent in September from July 2016, according to the CDC. Overdoses are increasing in all parts of the country, the study states, affecting all age groups. More than 60,000 deaths were reported in that year.
“We are taking action in the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic,” Marybeth Hays, the Walmart U.S. executive vice president of health, wellness and consumables said in a statement. “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.”
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