Walmart Launches Free Opioid Disposal Packets

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The retail giant said Wednesday that it will provide the packets free with opioid prescriptions filled at its 4,700 USA pharmacies.

ABC News reports that Walmart pharmacies in the U.S. will provide DisposeRX packets free with opioid prescriptions. When the packet is emptied into a pill bottle with warm water, the ingredients convert powders, pills, tablets, capsules, liquids, or patches into a non-divertible and biodegradable gel.

Hays declined to say during a conference call with reporters how many opioid prescriptions Walmart fills annually.

The company said on Wednesday that it will provide packets of DisposeRx, a powder that when combined with water and opioid painkiller prescriptions turns the pills into a gel that can then be thrown away safely. Ongoing counseling will also be made available to Walmart patients on proper opioid use and how to use DisposeRx.

Patients with chronic prescriptions will get a free DisposeRX packet every six months.

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Walmart's offer of free DisposeRX is just the latest in a series of efforts by pharmacies to reduce the risk that opioids will be diverted from their appropriate use as painkillers and abused by either the original customer or another person.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, say that about two-thirds of people misusing prescription opioids are getting them from family and friends.

Most recently, CVS joined the fight against opioid abuse by expanding its prescription drug disposal program to 750 of its pharmacies across the country. "While this issue requires many resources to solve, we are confident this unique, easy-to-use disposal solution, DisposeRx, will make a meaningful impact on the lives of many".

Walmart touted an endorsement of its move from Sen.

Walmart is trying to help curb America's opioid crisis. "Too often, these unsafe narcotics remain unsecured where children, teens or visitors may have access", Arkansas Senator John Boozman said in a statement. CVS started selling Narcan in 2016 and limited opioid prescriptions to seven days in September.