CVS first pharmacy to limit opioid prescriptions to 7-day supply

CVS to follow federal guidelines for opioid prescriptions

CVS to follow federal guidelines for opioid prescriptions

CVS Caremark plans to roll out opioid utilization control initiatives for all commercial, health plan, employer and Medicaid clients as of February 1, 2018 unless the client chooses to opt out.

CVS also announced Thursday it was adding another 750 medication disposal kiosks at its pharmacies around the country, roughly doubling the number that CVS has helped open as of now.

"CVS Health is announcing an enterprise wide campaign to combat the growing problem associated with opioids", said CVS President and CEO Larry Merlo.

The new guidelines would also limit the daily dosage of opioids depending on their strength, and would require immediate release opioids to be used before extended-release drugs, according to a CVS press release. CVS has nearly 90 million customers at its pharmacies each year at 9,600 CVS locations and 1,100 walk-in medical clinics in almost 10,000 communities in the United States.

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The CVS announcement comes on the heels of a special publication released by the National Academy of Medicine, "First, Do No Harm", which calls on the leadership and action of doctors to help reverse the "course of preventable harm and suffering from prescription opioids".

Drugstore giant, CVS Pharmacies is stepping in to help, changing procedure, to curb addiction.

Pharmacists will contact doctors if they see opioid prescriptions written for more than what is necessary. This remarkable volume of opioid prescribing is unique to the United States, where prescribing in 2015 was almost four times what it was in Europe. "Community health centers have the unique ability to leverage their care teams, health information technology systems and quality infrastructure to support drug abuse control in their communities". To date, the program has focused on teens and has educated more than 295,000 students about prescription drug abuse.

In an effort to fight the opioid epidemic, CVS is taking matters into its' own hands.

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