Hy-Vee announced Friday that it has implemented a new standard policy for refilling prescriptions for controlled substances.
The policy, which went into effect Tuesday, prohibits subsequent fills of prescriptions for drugs classified as Schedule II and refills of Schedule III or IV drugs more than 72 hours in advance of the refill date without approval from the prescribing health professional.
Hy-Vee spokeswoman Christina Gayman said that previously, Hy-Vee had followed the different state laws in the eight states where it has stores, including Nebraska.
Schedule II drugs include opiates such as codeine, morphine and oxycodone. Federal law prohibits them from automatically being refilled. Schedule III and IV drugs include sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs, steroids and drugs used to counteract the effects of opiates, such as naloxone and methadone.
Hy-Vee already offers naloxone, which is often referred to by its brand name, Narcan, without a prescription in nasal spray and injection forms.
“The opioid epidemic in the United States claims the lives of more than 100 people every day,” Kristin Williams, senior vice president and chief health officer for Hy-Vee, said in a news release. “Implementing this 72-hour policy is one more step toward combating the opioid epidemic in communities throughout the eight states we serve.”
Hy-Vee has five stores in Lincoln, all of which have pharmacies. Last month, the Iowa-based supermarket chain bought the pharmacy business from 22 Shopko stores in Nebraska and six other states, including the ones in Lincoln.