Walmart is launching a first-of-its kind opioid disposal solution – available at no cost – in all company pharmacies. Known as DisposeRx, the small packet contains ingredients that, according to the manufacturer, when emptied into a pill bottle with warm water ultimately enable patients to responsibly dispose of leftover medications in their trash.
The innovative disposal solution will now be provided in addition to ongoing counseling available to Walmart patients on proper opioid use when filling an opioid prescription at any one of its 4,700 pharmacies nationwide. Now, pharmacists can also counsel patients on how to use DisposeRx and distribute an opioid awareness brochure outlining risks and helpful resources.
According to DisposeRx, packets contain a crosslinking polymer blend that, when added to the pill bottle with warm water, sequester any form of prescription drugs – including powders, pills, tablets, capsules, liquids or patches – into a non-divertible and biodegradable gel. The chemicals in the packet are listed as safe by the FDA.
The launch of DisposeRx in Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies is one of several ways the retailers are helping to address the prescription drug abuse problem. The company urges lawmakers to establish a seven-day supply limit for initial prescriptions issued for acute pain and to require all controlled substance prescriptions be issued electronically, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration. It stocks Naloxone in its pharmacies and will offer Naloxone behind its pharmacy counters for sale or for dispensing by a pharmacist by the end of this month in all states where pharmacy practice laws support its ability to do so. The company also believes education on prescription drug abuse is a key part of the solution and is helping to fund a variety of multi-state programs that teach youth about the dangers of prescription drug use and abuse.