CVS Pharmacy announces limits on opiod prescriptions CVS limits opioid prescriptions

CVS to follow federal guidelines for opioid prescriptions

On Thursday, CVS announced it's limiting opioid prescriptions, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, to a seven-day supply for certain conditions.

CVS Health said Thursday that it was limiting the amount and strength of prescription opioid painkillers it provides to patients taking the drugs for the first time, a step meant to help curb opioid abuse.

NBC News reports CVS is the first national chain to put restrictions on how many pills doctors can prescribe patients at any given time.

CVS, - which was the first large retail pharmacy chain to stop selling cigarettes in 2014 - manages medications for almost 90 million customers at 9,700 retail locations.

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

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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.

"Without a doubt, addressing our nation's opioid crisis calls for a multi-pronged effort involving many health care stakeholders", CVS Health President and CEO Larry J. Merlo said in the release. This clinical program will educate patients about the Guideline for opioid prescribing published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which advises using the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible.

"In particular at King's Daughters, we're working on a non-narcotic pain regimen or pain control regimen that we can offer our patients when they are in the hospital that can reduce the amount of medication they can get while they're inpatients and as outpatients".

"Over the last two years or so, just with those 800 units, we've actually taken back over 100 metric tons of drugs out of medicine cabinets, getting them away and off the streets and disposing them in a safe and environmentally sensitive way", said Thomas Moriarty, the chief policy and external affairs officer for CVS.

CVS fills medications for over 90 million consumers at 9,700 locations.

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