CVS to Limit Opioid Prescriptions to 7-Day Supply

CVS to limit opioid prescriptions

CVS to limit opioid prescriptions

The Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain has 9,600 locations and is taking the action after the opioid epidemic claimed 64,000 lives nationwide past year.

According to a release on the CVS Health website, opioid overdose deaths quadrupled from 1999 to 2015.

Starting in February, the chain's new policy will put a 7-day limit on the supply of certain prescriptions for patients who are new to opioid therapy.

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CVS will instruct pharmacists to contact doctors when they encounter prescriptions that appear to offer more medication than would be deemed necessary for a patient's recovery.

CVS is expected to announce that it will limit opioid prescriptions in an effort to combat the epidemic that accounted for 64,000 overdose deaths a year ago. Another large pharmacy benefit manager, Express Scripts, previously announced it was planning to limit the supply and dosage of opioids for first-time patients, a move the American Medical Association warned was a "blunt, one-size-fits-all approach" that took treatment decisions away from the doctor and patient.

CVS also plans to boost efforts to educate patients about the dangers of opioid addiction, and pharmacists will advise customers about dependency risks and the importance of keeping the medication secure.

Another component of the new program announced by CVS is an expansion of safe disposal sites at its stores.

More than 90 million people use CVS for their prescriptions. Earlier this year, Cherokee Nation sued CVS and other companies, alleging they helped fuel an addiction crisis in the tribal community.

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