Published: Thu, January 18, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Walmart Offers an Easier Way to Dispose of Prescription Opioids

Walmart Offers an Easier Way to Dispose of Prescription Opioids

The Bentonville retailer said that beginning today customers having prescriptions filled for Class II opioid drugs at any Wal-Mart or Sam's Club pharmacy will be given a packet of powder developed by North Carolina-based DisposeRx Inc. This is done by dispensing a packet of the product into a pill bottle with warm water, which then creates a biodegradable gel that will eventually solidify into a useless mass ready to be thrown out.

The move comes as the US grapples with the scourge of opioid addiction, an affliction that often begins when chronic-pain sufferers fill a prescription at a retail pharmacy chain like Wal-Mart, CVS or Walgreens.

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.

It can be used on medication in any form, including pills, powders, capsules, liquids, tablets and patches.

The new way to safely dispose of opioids from Walmart is DisposeRx. By 2002, death certificates listed opioid poisoning as a cause of death more commonly than heroin or cocaine.

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Walmart already distributes safety brochures with prescriptions and offers counseling on safe opioid use. Aetna also published its opioid strategy paper in June 2017, detailing the company's work to prevent misuse and abuse. In October, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public-health emergency.

Wal-Mart touted the DisposeRx offering as the "first of its kind" because it allows patients to dispose of unwanted or expired pills at home.

Some pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreens, accept returns of drugs for disposal at select locations.

Walmart touted an endorsement of its move from Sen.

According to Sen. John Boozman R-Ark., "about one-third of medications go unused", which can prove to be risky - especially when children or teens have access to them. "Too frequently, those harmful narcotics stay un-secured where children, visitors or teens may have access", Arkansas Senator John Boozman said in an announcement.

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