People filling opioid prescriptions for the first time at Walmart will now receive a free packet of DisposeRx, a powder that helps render unused pills safe and useless. Wal-Mart declined to say how many Class II prescriptions it fills in a year but cited data from the federal National Institute of Drug Abuse that more than 2 million people in the USA suffer from substance-abuse disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers.
According to the manufacturer, when Dispose-RX is added to a pill bottle with warm water, it separates the medication into a bio-degradable gel. It points out that 65% of people that abuse prescription opioids get them from their family or friends.
It can be used on medication in any form, including pills, powders, capsules, liquids, tablets and patches.
"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 - an issue that has affected so many families and communities across America", explained Marybeth Hays, EVP of consumables and health and wellness at Walmart U.S.
The new way to safely dispose of opioids from Walmart is DisposeRx. But the company said the DisposeRx initiative is one of several ways it is trying to address prescription drug abuse.
Wal Mart (WMT) now distributes safety brochures with prescriptions and offers to counsel on safe opioid usage.
Although the offer of DisposeRX for free is coming as a result of the opioid epidemic, the product works on any type of prescription drug, according to Holaday. Walgreens began stocking pharmacies with Narcan in October. Walmart's announcement included an endorsement from Sen. The company is also helping to fund a range of multistate programs that educate young people about the dangers of prescription drug use and abuse.
"About one-third of medications sold go unused. Too frequently, those harmful narcotics stay un-secured where children, visitors or teens may have access", Arkansas Senator John Boozman said in an announcement.