Walmart offers free medicine disposal system to combat opioid abuse

Walmart is hoping a simple packet could help curb opioid misuse

Walmart is launching a new opioid disposal product in an effort to help fight opioid abuse.

Its DisposeRx solution consists of a small packet with an FDA-safe chemical blend that, when emptied into a pill bottle with warm water, lets patients dispose of any leftover medications in the trash. The company will be giving them to customers that fill Class II opioid prescriptions and is also offering counseling on the proper way to use the drugs.

The company, which has 70 locations in New Jersey, announced a plan to introducing a new, free program starting January 17 for people who fill their opioid prescriptions at its pharmacies, Walmart said in a press release. It can be used on medication in any form, including pills, powders, capsules, liquids, tablets and patches.

"The best part is that patients don't have to take the drugs back to a location", Marybeth Hays, Wal-Mart's head of consumables and health and wellness in the USA, said in an interview.


Patients with recurring prescriptions will be offered free packets every six months, and other existing pharmacy patients can request the product at any time, Walmart said. The tribe, which says it is prepared to seek damages against the companies in state court, notes in its suit that from 2003 to 2014, more than 350 deaths related to opioids occurred in the Cherokee Nation. DisposeRX packets also are being given away free at Sam's Club pharmacies.

Wal Mart (WMT) now distributes safety brochures with prescriptions and offers to counsel on safe opioid usage. "Walmart is incredibly proud to fund this initiative that provides our patients with an opioid disposal solution they can access nationwide, at no cost".

The world's largest retailer announced the new disposal system, known as DisposeRx, on Wednesday, with plans to make it available to use for free at all of its 4,700 US pharmacies. John Boozman, R-Ark., said that "about one-third of medications sold go unused. Too often, these risky narcotics remain unsecured where children, teens or visitors may have access", which really drives home the necessity for this newly-established program.

The move by Walmart is the latest precaution being taken to cut down on opioid abuse.

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