May 8, 2018 -- Walmart Inc. says it will take more steps to reduce opioid medication abuse and misuse.
Earlier this year, the company announced free opioid medication disposal in all its U.S. pharmacies.
On Monday, the company said that within the next 60 days, Walmart and Sam's Club will restrict initial acute opioid prescriptions to no more than a seven-day supply, with up to a 50 morphine milligram equivalent maximum per day.
This policy follows U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for opioid use. Where state law for fills on new acute opioid prescriptions is less than seven days, Walmart and Sam's Club will follow state law.
The company also said that as of Jan. 1, 2020, Walmart and Sam's Club will require e-prescriptions for controlled substances. Along with reducing the risk of errors, e-prescriptions cannot be altered or copied and are electronically trackable, according to the company.
It also said that by the end of August 2018 in states where permitted, Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacists will have access to and use the controlled substance tracking tool, NarxCare, to help them make dispensing decisions.
The company also said it will have the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone behind the pharmacy counters of its stores and clubs and dispensing naloxone upon request, where allowed by state law.
Also, the company said its pharmacists provide CDC-directed naloxone recommendations for patients who might be at risk for opioid overdose.