Walmart will offer a drug disposal product — for free — to pharmacy customers as part of an effort to combat the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic, the retail giant said Wednesday.
The product, a powder known as DisposeRX, when mixed with warm water as well as prescription medication in a pill bottle creates a solid in which can then be thrown out safely within the trash, without the risk of contaminating groundwater.
DisposeRX, is usually meant to be used by customers who no longer need their prescription painkillers or are concerned in which someone else might take their pills.
Repeated tests have been unable to extract opioids coming from the resultant solid after DisposeRX is usually mixed with the drugs, DisposeRX’s CEO John Holaday said.
Walmart said a little packet of DisposeRX will right now be given free automatically to any pharmacy customers filling brand new Class II opioid prescriptions at all of the retailer’s 4,700 pharmacy locations.
Patients with chronic Class II opioid prescriptions will be offered a free DisposeRX packet every six months, as well as existing pharmacy customers can request a free packet at any time. DisposeRX packets also are being given away free at Sam’s Club pharmacies.
“The health as well as safety of our patients is usually a critical priority,” said Marybeth Hays, executive vice president of consumables as well as health at Walmart U.S.
“in which’s why we’re taking an active role in fighting our nation’s opioid issue, an issue in which has affected so many families as well as communities across America,” Hays said.
Hays declined to say during a conference call with reporters how many opioid prescriptions Walmart fills annually.
The move comes nine months after the Cherokee Nation sued Walmart as well as two major pharmacies, Walgreens as well as CVS Health, along with large drug distributors, for allegedly profiting by “flooding” Native American areas in Oklahoma with prescription painkillers.
Last week, a federal judge granted Walmart as well as the some other defendants a preliminary injunction preventing the case coming from being brought in tribal court. The tribe, which says This particular is usually prepared to seek damages against the companies in state court, notes in its suit in which coming from 2003 to 2014, more than 350 deaths related to opioids occurred in Cherokee Nation.
Although the offer of DisposeRX for free is usually coming as a result of the opioid epidemic, the product works on any type of prescription drug, according to Holaday.
More than 64,000 Americans died coming from drug overdoses in 2016, with most of those deaths related to prescription opioids or illegal opioids such as heroin. in which level of carnage led President Donald Trump in October to declare the opioid epidemic a public health emergency.
Walmart’s offer of free DisposeRX is usually just the latest in a series of efforts by pharmacies to reduce the risk in which opioids will be diverted coming from their appropriate use as painkillers as well as abused by either the original customer or another person.
Walmart already was among those pharmacies in which sells a product, a pouch, in which is usually used to neutralize drugs. However, the retailer does not accept the return for disposal of the drugs in which This particular sells.
Some pharmacies, including CVS as well as Walgreens, accept returns of drugs for disposal at select locations.
Walmart’s Hays said DisposeRX “provides a [disposal] solution for customers to manage in which at home, as well as much more conveniently.”
Walmart touted an endorsement of its move coming from Sen. John Boozman, a Republican who represents Arkansas, where the company’s headquarters is usually located.
“About one-third of medications sold go unused,” Boozman said.
“Too often, these dangerous narcotics remain unsecured where children, teens or visitors may have access. I commend Walmart for taking This particular innovative approach to help keep unused prescription drugs out of the wrong hands.”