In the wake of President Donald J. Trump’s declaration of the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has expressed support for the move and reaffirmed its commitment to help solve the problem.
“At Walmart, the health and safety of our patients is a critical priority, and we welcome the administration’s actions to bring attention and resources to the nation’s opioid issue – one that has devastated so many families and communities across America,” noted Greg Foran, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. “We stand ready to work with our nation’s leaders on a solution to combat prescription drug addiction and misuse.”
Steps that the Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer has taken to address the issue include:
- Comprehensive policies and training for pharmacists in filling prescriptions only for legitimate medical reasons
- Support of the development and implementation of an industry-led nationwide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP); meanwhile, the company’s pharmacists have access to, and are able to make use of, their respective states’ PDMP systems to help prevent abuse
- Support of federal legislation to establish a seven-day supply limit for initial prescriptions issued for acute pain, and to require all controlled substance prescriptions be issued electronically, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration
- Offering solutions for sale to enable patients to properly dispose of prescription medication
Additionally, further measures will be rolled by the end of the year, among them:
- Naloxone to be made available for sale behind the counter or for dispensing by a pharmacist in all states where the law permits
- Funding for a multistate program created by an education technology company to teach youth about the dangers of prescription drug abuse
Walmart operates more than 11,600 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries, and ecommerce websites in 11 countries, and employs about 2.3 million associates worldwide.