NBC – CVS is changing the way it dispenses powerful painkillers to help combat the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Pharmacists will contact doctors if they see opioid prescriptions written for more than what is necessary. Patients will also receive pain medication that works quickly — for a shorter period — rather than a longer duration.

Importantly, the retailer will limit opioid prescriptions to a one-week supply for new patients who have short-term, acute problems.

“An acute patient would be someone who has a minor surgical procedure or a dental procedure and uh they would be leaving the doctor’s office or the dentist’s office with a prescription – now that prescription would be limited to 7 days,” said Royen Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health

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The company also plans to strengthen its disposal collection program with the addition of kiosks at pharmacies.

The changes are expected by next February.


  1. I do not know how CVS can decide what is enough for any individual. They are not the medical doctors treating the person and may not know all the medical issues.
    CVS must fill the orders of the doctors whom have a relatioonship with the person.