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Grocery chain changes pharmacy rules to fight opioid epidemic

Hy-Vee has changed their pharmacies policy when it comes to re-filling or filling opioid prescriptions in an attempt to fight the opioid epidemic. In a press release Hy-Vee pharmacies said, “pharmacies no longer allow a subsequent fill of a Schedule II controlled substance, or a refill of a Schedule III or Scheduled IV controlled substance more than 72 hours early without authorization from the prescriber.”

Posted: Jan. 9, 2019 8:13 PM

(NATIONAL)— Hy-Vee has changed their pharmacies policy when it comes to re-filling or filling opioid prescriptions in an attempt to fight the opioid epidemic.

In a release, Hy-Vee pharmacies said, “pharmacies no longer allow a subsequent fill of a Schedule II controlled substance, or a refill of a Schedule III or Scheduled IV controlled substance more than 72 hours early without authorization from the prescriber.”

It’s a welcomed rule for Hy-vee pharmacists like Cindy Roads who works at the St. Joseph Hy-Vee.

“There are a lot of challenges for pharmacists today and for physicians as well, but I think this is moving in the right direction,” said Roads.

“The opioid epidemic in the United States claims the lives of more than 100 people every day, and Hy-Vee is continually working to assist in the fight,” said Kristin Williams, senior vice president, and chief health officer for Hy-Vee. “Implementing this 72-hour policy is one more step toward combating the opioid epidemic in communities throughout the eight states we serve.”

Those who are fighting the opioid epidemic locally say it’s a good step for businesses to do their part in regulating opioids, but it's the state government that also needs to play a role.

“The people have to come together and get with your legislators and say listen we are tired of this, once they get the drug monitoring program voted in, and we’re the last state in the United States to accept this law, then it will be easier to monitor who is getting drugs and where they are going,” said Mark Puckett, the man who runs the St. Kolbe Puckett center for healing, a center that helps those struggling with opioid addiction take the steps to get clean.

“Currently I can only look a customers record up to see if they have had a controlled substance filled in certain counties, but I can't do that throughout all the counties in Missouri because its voluntary so not every county participates,” said Roads.

Until the government steps in, pharmacists say its prescription holders who need to keep an eye on their opioids at home.

“One the opioids do go home with you, you have to make sure they are stored in a secure location that really is not easy to get to, and if you have any leftover medication, you need to dispose of it properly,” said Roads.

While filling and refilling opioid prescriptions will be more strictly regulated, they will still sell Naloxone over the counter with no questions asked. Naloxone is a drug that can prevent someone who has overdosed on a wide range of opioids stay alive until they can receive proper medical attention.

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