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CVS Health to limit opioid access to customers

Local residents whose health benefits are overseen by one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers will soon be limited to how many opioids they can get at one time.

In the face of a sweeping opioid overdose epidemic — in part blamed on over-prescription of opioids — CVS Caremark plans to limit opioid prescriptions to seven days or less for some patients.

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The company said in a statement that it will be

  • Limiting to seven days the supply of opioids dispensed for certain acute prescriptions.
  • Limiting the daily dosage of opioids dispensed based on the strength of the opioid.
  • Requiring the use of immediate-release formulations of opioids before extended-release opioids are dispensed.

CVS Health Corp., the parent of CVS Caremark and the CVS retail pharmacy chain, also said it will have efforts to properly dispose of unused prescription medication, will have its pharmacists educate patients on opioid risks, and will continue to have its foundation donate to community health centers that have medication-assisted treatment and other addiction services.

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