One of the biggest problems causing the opioid crisis is how many pills doctors and pharmacies are willing to give their patients. But Walmart is looking to change that.
Walmart announced a new policy that will limit the amount of opioid pills that are handed out at their stores as well as at Sam's Club pharmacies. In the next few months, Walmart will cap the amount of painkillers they hand out to no more than a week's supply, and will limit the amount of daily doses to the equivalent of 50 milligrams of morphine. Walmart says this new policy is in line with 2016 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, which said that physicians' should try to prescribe the "lowest effective dose."
The company also announced they will begin using NarxCare, tracking software that includes information from other states to ensure they're not putting more pills on the street than are necessary. They will also begin carrying naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote that's saved many lives. And they also said by 2020, they will only accept electronic prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances since they are less prone to forgery.
While these are great steps towards addressing the opioid crisis, one has to wonder why Walmart didn't institute similar policies in the past considering we've known how deadly this crisis is for a couple of years.