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Ohio workers comp drug formulary nets $20M in savings

Ohio workers comp drug formulary nets $20M in savings

Ohio's workers compensation prescription drug formulary has resulted in savings of $20 million for employers during the past three years, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation said.

The formulary, which launched in 2011, also is credited with a 27.8% decline in opioid prescriptions and a 72.9% decline in skeletal muscle relaxant prescriptions in 2013 compared with 2010, the bureau said Friday in a statement.

Medications under the formulary are subject to guidelines and regulations that are updated regularly, the bureau said. For example, a 2012 update restricts coverage of muscle relaxants to a 90-day supply for initial prescriptions, and allows only one additional 30-day prescription per year after that.

“By prescribing only the right medicine, at the right time, for the right duration, we are improving care, getting the worker healed and back on the job sooner, and ensuring that medicine cabinets aren't stocked with potentially dangerous drugs that could lead to overdose or addiction,” Steve Buehrer, the Ohio bureau's administrator and CEO, said in a statement.

The Ohio agency is the state's monopoly workers comp insurer, providing coverage to more than 252,000 Ohio employers, according to the bureau's website.