Walmart to provide drug disposal powder in hopes of thwarting painkiller abuse

Walmart to provide drug disposal powder in hopes of thwarting painkiller abuse

ABC News reports that Walmart pharmacies in the U.S. will provide DisposeRX packets free with opioid prescriptions.

According to DisposeRx, packets contain a crosslinking polymer blend that, when added to the pill bottle with warm water, sequester any form of prescription drugs - including powders, pills, tablets, capsules, liquids or patches - into a non-divertible and biodegradable gel. Walmart will also offer free DisposeRx packets to existing patients.

As Fortune reported in an in-depth report on the crisis in September, an American is now far likelier to die of a drug overdose than in a auto crash.

Walmart pharmacies will provide Dispose-RX at no cost to patients filling new class-two opioid prescriptions.

What Walmart wants to do by including packets along with the prescription is to make it possible for you to dispose of those five pills at home for free.

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Walmart, (wmt) the fourth largest USA pharmacy operator, has unveiled a tool it thinks can help dent the country's raging opioid crisis: a packet that dissolves unused medication to make it easier to throw out.

Walmart's announcement marks the first time one of the nation's largest pharmacies has offered a free way to dispose of opioids at all locations. That year, West Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia had the highest observed drug overdose rates, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the CDC.

"About one-third of medications sold go unused. Too often, these unsafe narcotics remain unsecured where children, teens or visitors may have access", which really drives home the necessity for this newly-established program. CVS started selling Narcan in 2016 and limited opioid prescriptions to seven days in September.

"The health and safety of our patients is a critical priority; that's why we're taking an active role in fighting our nation's opioid issue", said Walmart's Marybeth Hays. Walgreens began stocking pharmacies with Narcan in October.