CHARLOTTE, N.C. - CVS just became the first ever pharmaceutical corporation to limit the number of painkillers doctors can give patients.
The drugstore conglomerate will now only give, at most, a seven-day supply of opiates for several conditions.
“I think it’s a great step forward,” CVS customer Gabrielle Webb said. “Although I see that it could maybe impact some people who actually need it.”
Larry Merlo, President and CEO of CVS, says pharmacists will now be instructed to call doctors when they encounter prescriptions that seem to be excessive.
“For an ankle sprain or a dental procedure an individual may be in pain,” Merlo explained. “But it doesn't call for a prescription with quantities of 30 pills or 60 pills.”
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stien praised the decision Thursday.
“Thank you to CVS for being a leader,” he wrote on Facebook.
He recently announced he’s joining 40 other Attorneys General across the country in an expanded investigation in to opioid manufacturers and distributors.
“If we conclude that they acted unlawfully and helped to create and fuel this crisis that is taking lives and tearing apart families across North Carolina, I will hold them accountable,” he announced in a Facebook live Wednesday.
CVS will also spend $2 million in funding treatment programs, and will install 750 prescription disposal boxes in their stores, which you’ll start seeing in the Carolinas this fall.
“Once there’s some kind of feedback like 'there has been this many less overdoses because of it,' maybe other pharmacies will make the same move,” Webb said. “I think it really challenges the doctor to think do they really need this prescription.”