Walmart is stepping up to help mitigate the opioid crisis with an innovative new product that will make it easier to safely dispose of prescription meds.


According to a statement issued Wednesday morning, the company is now offering DisposeRX, a waste disposal solution, for free at Walmart pharmacies and Sam’s Club pharmacies nationwide.


When mixed with warm water and added to a pill bottle, DisposeRX works to convert the leftover meds into a biodegradable gel, which then hardens and is easily discarded. It can be used on medication in any form, including pills, powders, capsules, liquids, tablets and patches.


Patients filling a new prescription for a Class II opioid, such as oxycodone and methadone, will receive a free DisposeRX packet and an opioid safety brochure. Patients who fill Class II opioid prescriptions on an ongoing basis will receive one complimentary packet every six months. 


Safe disposal of prescription opioids is a necessary component to preventing overdoses. 


“About one-third of medications sold go unused. Too often, these dangerous narcotics remain unsecured where children, teens or visitors may have access,” Arkansas senator John Boozman said in a statement. 

According to the CDC, more than 42,000 people died from opioids in 2016, and 40 percent of those deaths were caused by prescription opioids. 

“While [our nation’s opioid] issue requires many resources to solve, we are confident this unique, easy-to-use disposal solution, DisposeRx, will make a meaningful impact on the lives of many,” said Marybeth Hays, executive vice president of Consumables and Health and Wellness at Walmart U.S. 

DisposeRX is the first product of its kind to use this opioid disposal technology. Prior to this launch, the standard method of safely discarding prescription medicine, per the FDA’s recommendation, is one of three ways: In a disposal kiosk at your local pharmacy (both CVS and Walgreens provide); via a DEA-authorized collector in your community; or at home, either placing the medication in a sealed container and depositing it in the trash, or flushing it down the toilet.

Let's hope this innovation helps save lives.