The new policy by CVS Pharmacy limits the filling of prescriptions to seven days for painkillers like hydrocodone, fentanyl, and oxycodone. The policy is the first big effort by a major pharmacy group to address the opioid epidemic in America.
"The United States uses 99% of the world's hydrocodone despite only having 5 of the world's population,” said Will Glaspy who is the DEA Special Agent in charge for Austin, San Antonio and Houston.
Glaspy told FOX 7 the abuse of prescription drugs has provided a foothold for drug smuggling operations.
He welcomes the help in the fight from CVS. "I don’t think anything is too little, too late, I think we've got a national crisis right now, that has to be addressed at multiple levels,” said Glaspy.
The CVS policy also comes after Texas joined an investigation into the marketing and sales of prescription painkillers. In a statement issued by Attorney General ken Paxton wrote:
"The goal ... is to collect enough information so that the multi-state coalition can effectively evaluate whether manufacturers and distributors engaged in unlawful practices."
On Tuesday, the coalition announced subpoenas and requests for information were issued to eight different companies. The challenge, of course is making people understand there is a legitimate link between the abuse of a medicine cabinet and some shadowy figure on a street corner dealing drugs, and that’s how a traveling exhibit comes into play.
A ribbon cutting ceremony Friday at the Texas Museum of Science and Technology in Cedar Park opened the DEA exhibit; “Drugs, Costs and Consequences.” It features confiscated drug labs taken out of homes and out of jungles, shows how addiction can destroy the mind and body, as well as testimonials from local victims.
According to the CDC, two million people are hooked on painkillers.
In 2015, 33,091 deaths from overdose were reported in the U.S. 2,588 of those deaths were in Texas.
"And people don’t talk about it,” said museum founder Torvald Hessell.
The exhibit, Hessell hopes, will break the silence and force a community wide discussion
"When you hear drug abuse people are thinking about homeless people under the bridge and the thing is, no, it is not. It’s moms and dads you and me, it has nothing to do about how much money, or education level,” said Hessell.
The exhibit will be in Cedar Park through the month of June.
The CVS policy starts the first of February 2018.