Wal-Mart Stores Inc., seeking to curb opioid abuse, will offer its pharmacy customers a product that dissolves unwanted or expired prescription drugs.
Customers filling a new Class II opioid prescription at any of Wal-Mart’s 4,700 U.S. pharmacies will now receive a packet of DisposeRx, a powder that -- when mixed into a pill bottle with warm water -- creates a safe, biodegradable gel, the company said in a statement Wednesday. Those with refillable opioid prescriptions will get a free sachet every six months, and customers can request a free packet at any time.
The move comes as the U.S. grapples with the scourge of opioid addiction, an affliction that often begins when chronic-pain sufferers fill a prescription at a retail pharmacy chain like Wal-Mart, CVS or Walgreens. More than two out of three people misusing prescription opioids get them from family and friends, according to federal data. Opioid overdose deaths rose 28 percent in 2016, to 42,000 men, women and children.
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