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Insurers, health systems, and state governments have cobbled together regulations on various aspects of prescriptions for opiates. The federal government is working on legislation aimed at curbing the opioid crisis, too. Walmart and Sam’s Club’s pharmacies aren’t waiting for new regulations to mandate the limits of opioid prescriptions, however. Instead, the parent company is imposing a limit of 7-days’ supply for patients who are prescribed opiates for acute, short-term pain. Those restrictions will start within the next 60 days, as will a new rule that limits patients to 50 morphine mg equivalent per day. CVS has already implemented a similar policy for patients seeking to fill prescriptions at its pharmacies. Currently, there’s a bill in the U.S. Senate that would limit first-time prescriptions for opioids to 3 days. In addition, several states have adopted policies that limit opioid prescriptions for acute pain to 7 days or less. Walmart noted that when state law limits prescriptions to less than 7, their pharmacists will follow state law. In 2020, Walmart and Sam’s Club will also require e-prescriptions for controlled substances because it perceives them to be less prone to errors than paper scripts. Finally, Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists will have access to a controlled substance tracking system that analyzes a prescription database to provide pharmacists with a patient’s “risk score” for potential drug abuse; that is expected to arrive in August of this year.


Walmart and Sam’s Club Lay Down Their Own Opioid Limits
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