"We are taking action in the fight against the nation's opioid epidemic", Marybeth Hays, executive vice president of Health & Wellness and Consumables, Walmart U.S. said in a press release. In an effort to continue to be a part of the solution, Walmart is introducing new programs, tools and policies that will be aimed at addressing the critical issues faced by the patients & communities.
Walmart is taking a stand against opioid abuse, responding to the opioid epidemic by putting into place stricter prescription policies for the drug.
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Also, the company said its pharmacists provide CDC-directed naloxone recommendations for patients who might be at risk for opioid overdose.
The company also said that as of January 1, 2020, Walmart and Sam's Club will require e-prescriptions for controlled substances. Overdose deaths increased across all demogrpahics. According to the NPR, this is already in place and retail sales of this antidote has risen by ten times between 2013 and 2015 and this is an indication of the overdose potential of the opioids. Deaths attributed to synthetic opioids more than doubled past year.
The CDC advises consumers with unused opioid drugs to participate in their local pharmacy's drug take-back program or simply "flush them down the toilet".
The companys pharmacists counsel patients using the CDCs guidelines on pain management, focusing on using the lowest effective dose for pain management for the shortest time possible. In 2018, it enacted an awareness campaign called #ItEndsWithUs to educate consumers about opioids.
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