Over 10k petition against Walmart's opioid restriction plan

After Walmart announced it will restrict opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply at its pharmacies across the U.S. May 7, more than 10,000 people signed a petition pushing back against the retail giant's decision, claiming the policy will not alleviate the opioid crisis.

"This shift will actually make things worse, all in an effort to gain a little good PR," said Kelsey Bourgeois, who started the petition. "If Walmart really wants to curb deaths and the prevalence of opioid abuse, it would do something useful like sell Narcan, a life-saving drug used in overdose cases, for a low cost."

The drug is currently available at Walmart behind the counter for $150, "which makes it unaffordable for most," Ms. Bourgeois said. 

The petition argues Walmart's policy will make it more difficult for people who truly need these drugs to obtain them, requiring sick people to go to the pharmacy more often.

Further, since the change makes painkillers more difficult to get, people may buy pills on the streets, where drugs cut with lethal substances make overdoses more likely, the petition noted.

"Walmart should consider taking an alternative measure to curb opioid addiction," Ms. Bourgeois said.

As of May 11 at 10:30 a.m. CT, the petition has 10,451 supporters.

More articles on opioids: 
Cardinal Health chair 'deeply sorry' for not halting oversupply of West Virginia opioids faster
Walmart to limit opioid prescriptions at pharmacies
How Mayo Clinic's prescribing guidelines are cutting opioid prescriptions by half

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