Walmart offers way to get rid of prescription opioids

Walmart offers free opioid disposal product in effort to fight painkiller abuse epidemic

Walmart will also offer free DisposeRx packets to existing patients.

Walmart on Wednesday announced it will provide customers filling prescriptions for opioids with a packet of powder that will help them dispose of leftover medication in order to help curb misuse and abuse.

The Food and Drug Administration says that for home disposal, opioid painkillers should be mixed with biodegradable items like use coffee grounds or kitty litter before disposing of them in a sealed bag.

Customers will then be able to dump those contents into the trash.

The big box retailer says it will become the first national drug chain to offer a free opioid disposal option at all its pharmacy locations.

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Other drugstore stores like Walgreens and CVS collect unused medications at their stores. The company says its pharmacy customers can request a free packet at any time. "Too often, these risky narcotics remain unsecured where children, teens or visitors may have access." said Sen.

A few months ago, CVS Health, (cvs) the largest dispenser of drug prescriptions in the country ($61 billion worth in 2016) said it would limit the prescription of opioids for some conditions to seven days, a move Walmart has also advocated.

In 2016, 46 people died every day in the United States from prescription opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"The health and safety of our patients is a critical priority; that's why we're taking an active role in fighting our nation's opioid issue - an issue that has affected so many families and communities across America", said Marybeth Hays, executive vice president of Consumables and Health and Wellness at Walmart U.S., in a statement. The chemicals in DisposeRx are listed as safe by the FDA, according to Walmart.

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