May 7, 2018 / 5:05 PM / 4 months ago

Walmart to restrict opioid dispensing at its pharmacies

(Reuters) - Walmart Inc said on Monday it would restrict initial acute opioid prescriptions to no more than a seven-day supply as the retailer aims to curb an opioid epidemic that has plagued the United States.

The Walmart logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The supply limit will begin within the next 60 days, the company said.

In January , Walmart said it would provide its customers filling prescriptions for opioids with a packet of powder that would help them dispose of leftover medication.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 115 Americans die on average every day from an opioid overdose.

The company also said on Monday that from Jan. 1, 2020 it would require e-prescriptions for controlled substances, noting that these prescriptions are proven to be less prone to errors and cannot be altered or copied.

The initiatives apply to all the pharmacies of Walmart and its Sam’s Club unit in the United States and Puerto Rico.

(This story has been corrected to add dropped words “initial acute” in first paragraph)

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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