Walmart Offers Packets That Turn Opioids Into Useless Gel

Walmart hopes to combat the US opioid epidemic by offering a free disposal system to help consumers safely dispose of leftover medicine.

Every week's patient using prescriptions may receive yourself a DisposeRX packet. The DisposeRx packet contains a safe crosslinking polymer blend that, when emptied into a pill bottle with warm water, will let patients easily and responsibly dispose of any form of leftover medications in the trash by sequestering them into a nondivertible, biodegradable gel, according to the Southern Pines, N.C. -based manufacturer. Walmart is helping customers get rid of leftover opioids by giving them packets that turn the addictive painkillers into a useless gel.

Opioid abuse has skyrocketed in the United States in the last 25 years and accounts for the greatest proportion of prescription drug abuse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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"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", explained Marybeth Hays, EVP of consumables and health and wellness at Walmart U.S. Walmart will also offer free DisposeRx packets to existing patients.

Walmart is handing out DisposeRx for free at all of its pharmacies. Aetna also published its opioid strategy paper in June 2017, detailing the company's work to prevent misuse and abuse. That level of death led President Donald Trump in October to declare the opioid epidemic a public health emergency.

Wal-Mart touted the DisposeRx offering as the "first of its kind" because it allows patients to dispose of unwanted or expired pills at home. And about one third of medications sold go unused, making them more readily available for abuse. CVS and Walgreens now offer medication-disposal kiosks at hundreds of locations, a service that Wal-Mart doesn't provide. "Too frequently, those harmful narcotics stay un-secured where children, visitors or teens may have access", Arkansas Senator John Boozman said in an announcement.

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