Medicine

CVS tightens restrictions on opioid prescriptions in bid to stanch epidemic

CVS tightens restrictions on opioid prescriptions in bid to stanch epidemic

CVS will limit certain opioid painkiller prescriptions to a seven-day supply, the pharmacy chain announced on Friday.

Pharmacists will contact doctors if they see opioid prescriptions written for more than what is necessary, and will limit opiod prescriptions to a one-week supply. for patients with acute problems.

The largest pharmacy chain in the U.S.is enacting strict restrictions on patient supplies for opioid painkillers in an effort to curb addiction rates amid record drug deaths.

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.

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

The company announced Thursday it would be making changes to the way it provides opioid prescriptions.

CVS, based in Woonsocket, R.I., said the new rules will bring the company in line with prescribing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previous year.

At the pharmacy level, a greater emphasis will be placed on counseling to help patients understand the risks associated with opioid use based on the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Following the recommendation, Trump told the press that the opioid epidemic "is a national emergency", but to date there has been no official announcement. The plan also includes an expansion of the drug disposal collection program which will add more kiosks at retail pharmacies nationwide. More than 100 metric tons of unwanted medication, that could otherwise have been diverted, misused or abused, have been collected and safely disposed of through this program in the past two years.

CVS manages medications for almost 90 million customers at 9,700 retail locations.


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