Pharmacist Weighs in On CVS Decision

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- As the country tries to deal with a deadly opioid epidemic, the pharmacy giant CVS, said it’ll place new limits on prescriptions of painkillers by February. Doctors wrote more than 225 million prescriptions for pain medications in 2015, that’s 71 scripts per 100 patients.

CVS’ plan is to limit those prescriptions to seven days, which mirrors Center for Disease Control’s recommendations. CVS is asking pharmacists to contact doctors when they see prescriptions for more medication than a typical recovery time. The company also plans to boost funding for addiction counseling, and safe opioid disposal programs. This landmark move is raising questions about how fast people can become addicted to pain pills and if other pharmacies will follow in CVS’ footsteps. Dan’s Drugstore owner Dan Peterson says before limiting a patient’s prescription supply, he would need to know more about their health background.

He says with pain medication– it usually takes only a week or so for people to start getting addicted. South Dakota is doing its part to curb over-use. The state has a program, that’s been around for four years for pharmacists to track patients’ medication refills.

“So if there is someone that maybe you could potentially be concerned; as to whether they are getting the medication at another pharmacy. That’s something that I can go in and check and see if that indeed is the case,” says Pharmacist Peterson.

Peterson says the two most common opioids people are prescribed and become addicted to are Hydrocodone and Oxycodone.

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