To further assist in combatting the national opioid epidemic, Hy-Vee, Inc. announces it has purchased and will install drug take-back receptacles by Nov. 7, 2019, in all 276 Hy-Vee pharmacy locations throughout its eight-state region including Forest City and Mason City to provide customers a secure place to dispose of unused medications, including controlled substances.
The availability of drug take-back receptacles in all Hy-Vee pharmacies provides customers with a safe and responsible way to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired drugs in communities throughout the Midwest and remove them from the environment.
“Installing drug take-back receptacles in all of our pharmacies is one more step Hy-Vee is taking toward combatting the opioid epidemic,” said Kristin Williams, senior vice president, and chief health officer at Hy-Vee.
In addition, Hy-Vee announces that effective today all Hy-Vee Pharmacy locations will limit the initial quantity of opioids prescribed for treatment of acute pain to seven days – or fewer days where state law or a third-party payor requires.
The new seven-day limit does not apply to chronic pain; pain being treated as a part of cancer care, hospice or other end-of-life care; pain being treated as part of palliative care practices, and medications used to treat opioid addiction.
“We want to be part of the solution while continuing to provide needed care for customers with acute pain and other severe pain management situations in communities throughout the eight states we serve,” said Williams.
In January 2019, Hy-Vee announced that its pharmacies would no longer allow a subsequent fill of a Schedule II controlled substance, or a refill of a Schedule III or Schedule IV controlled substance more than 72 hours early without authorization from the prescriber.
Hy-Vee also offers naloxone without a prescription in all eight states where it operates pharmacies: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Naloxone is available at Hy-Vee pharmacies in nasal spray and injection forms (upon request), although, a nasal spray is the most commonly used form. The drug is stored behind the counter and cost varies, depending on the form and whether a customer goes through his or her insurance, or pays cash.
Naloxone can be administered to any person who has overdosed on a wide range of opioids, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine, as well as heroin.