A man passes a CVS drugstore February 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. The second largest US drugstore chain, CVS, announced Wednesday it will stop selling cigarettes by the end of the year, a decision President Barack Obama hailed as a "powerful example."CVS said its 7,600 stores across the country will cease tobacco sales by October 1, despite the projected $2 billion loss the move will entail. AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIERKAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

(CNN)In a new effort to tackle the deadly opioid addiction crisis in the United States, pharmacy giant CVS announced Friday that it will limit opioid prescriptions to seven days for certain conditions. This restriction will apply to patients who are new to pain therapy.
The new pharmacy program will also limit the daily dosage of pain pills based on their strength and will require use of immediate-release formulations before extended-release opioids — intended for severe, long-term pain treatment — are dispensed.
From 1999 to 2014, sales of prescription opioids in the US almost quadrupled, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, yet there has been no change in pain reported by Americans.
CVS said its pharmacists will counsel patients with opioid prescriptions about the risk of dependence and addiction based on CDC guidelines. These educational sessions will also emphasize the importance of keeping medications secure in …
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