CVS to Limit Opioid Prescriptions to 7-Day Supply

23 September, 2017, 01:24 | Author: Darrell Lopez
  • CVS to follow federal guidelines for opioid prescriptions

In a bid to fight against an increasing number of opioid overdoses, a national drugstore is putting new limits on prescriptions and looking to educate patients.

The pharmacy giant's CEO says patients often bring prescriptions for 30 or 60 pills when they don't need almost that many.

CVS - which was the first large retail pharmacy chain to stop selling cigarettes in 2014 -is now hoping to help curb the opioid epidemic in the United States.

In 2015, doctors wrote more than 225 million opioid prescriptions.

None of the opioid limits apply to patients with cancer, according to a CVS Health spokesperson.

To support this goal, CVS Caremark will roll out an enhanced opioid utilization management approach for all commercial, health plan, employer and Medicaid clients as of February 1, 2018 unless the client chooses to opt out.

CVS will determine restrictions based on opioid strength. "Simply restricting access to opioids without offering alternative pain treatments may have limited efficacy in reducing prescription opioid abuse", said representatives from NIDA.

"CVS Health has long partnered with us to help prevent and address prescription drug abuse and we understand the depth of the company's commitment and the breadth of their ability to respond", said Fred Muench, PhD, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. More than 100 metric tons of unwanted medication was disposed through the program in the past two years. "It looks as though we've gone too far in one direction in terms of this kind of liberal use of medications to treat pain and we have to do something different".

CVS manages medications for almost 90M people, or ~28% of the US population, through its Caremark unit and runs 9,700 retail pharmacies nationwide.

CVS is changing the way it dispenses powerful painkillers to help combat the nation's opioid epidemic.



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