Walmart Offering Free Opioid Disposal
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is providing an innovative free opioid disposal solution at Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies across the United States. The DisposeRx packet contains a safe crosslinking polymer blend that, when emptied into a pill bottle with warm water, will let patients easily and responsibly dispose of any form of leftover medications in the trash by sequestering them into a nondivertible, biodegradable gel, according to the Southern Pines, N.C.-based manufacturer.
Now, in addition to ongoing counseling to patients on the proper use of opioids when filling a prescription for such medications, Walmart pharmacists will advise patients on how to use DisposeRx and hand out a brochure detailing risks and helpful resources.
Patients filling any new Class II opioid prescription at Walmart pharmacies will receive a free DisposeRx packet and the brochure when picking up their prescriptions. Patients with chronic Class II opioid prescriptions will receive a free DisposeRx packet every six months. Existing pharmacy patients can also request a free DisposeRx packet at any time, including at the upcoming Walmart Wellness Day event scheduled for Jan. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. all Walmart locations nationwide.
“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. “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 is incredibly proud to fund this initiative that provides our patients with an opioid disposal solution they can access nationwide, at no cost.”
The DisposeRx launch comes in addition to Walmart’s other efforts to curb opioid misuse. The company supports legislation imposing a seven-day supply limit for initial prescriptions for acute pain and the requirement that all controlled-substance prescriptions be issued electronically, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration. It carries Naloxone (Narcan) in its pharmacies, in common with such retailers as Albertsons and Hy-Vee, and will offer the lifesaving opioid overdose treatment behind its pharmacy counters for sale or for dispensing by a pharmacist by the end of the month in all states where it’s legal to do so. 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.
Walmart pharmacies in Rhode Island and Washington will offer an alternative free disposal solution until third-party testing of DisposeRx has been completed in those states.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 11,600 stores under nearly 60 banners in 28 countries and ecommerce websites, employing about 2.3 million associates worldwide.