This move makes CVS the pioneer among national retail pharmacy chains to limit the number of opioids physicians can prescribe. Pharmacists will be required to inform patients about the risks of addiction, storage of medications and disposal.
"The misuse and abuse of opioids is a public health crisis we have to work together to solve", said Dr. Gary Roberts, president of the American Dental Association.
None of the opioid limits apply to patients with cancer, according to a CVS Health spokesperson. They must determine if the prescribed opioid is appropriate, compare how the opioid may interact with other medications the patient is now taking, and occasionally advise the patient on taking a different medication.
Drugstore giant, CVS Pharmacies is stepping in to help, changing procedure, to curb addiction.
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"In particular at King's Daughters, we're working on a non-narcotic pain regimen or pain control regimen that we can offer our patients when they are in the hospital that can reduce the amount of medication they can get while they're inpatients and as outpatients".
CVS will also be expanding its medication disposal units, adding 750 "drug take-back" kiosks in its pharmacies. More than 100 metric tons of unwanted medication was disposed through the program in the past two years. It means that customers experiencing acute, short-term pain will only be allowed to purchase one week's worth of opioids with a single prescription, Today reports.
Through its pharmacy benefit manager, CVS Caremark, which has 90 million plan members, the company will introduce three new policies, effective in February. St., on the King's Daughters Medical Center campus in Ashland. "Through the Innovative Approaches for Prescription Drug Abuse Management and Prevention program, we hope to build capacity for providing integrated behavioral health services in communities with high incidence of substance use and abuse with the goal of implementing innovative, collaborative, and community‐based models that result in safe prescribing practices, care coordination, strengthened partnerships and non-judgmental environments for all patients".
In an effort to fight the opioid epidemic, CVS is taking matters into its' own hands.