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The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation announced Friday it will begin to phase out coverage for OxyContin and its generic forms by the end of the year, beginning June 1.
According to a news release from the Ohio BWC, the bureau said it will no longer pay for the drug or its generic equivalents for any on-the-job injuries suffered by workers on or after June 1 due to the drugs’ potential for “abuse, misuse, addiction and dependence.” Workers who are currently taking OxyContin or a generic version will have until Dec. 31 to discontinue their use of the drugs or switch to a different medication on Ohio’s workers comp formulary. The Ohio BWC will continue to pay for immediate-release oxycodone used to treat acute pain.
Injured workers in the state are encouraged to talk to their physicians about other effective painkillers on the formulary and to explore non-medication treatment options for chronic pain, according to the release.
The bureau’s board of directors approved the rule change in February following a 2018 study by the bureau’s pharmacy and therapeutics committee on the use of opioids in workers compensation. In 2016, the agency issued a rule to curb opioid prescriptions by requiring physicians to follow specific best practices when prescribing opioids to injured workers.
Citing safer alternatives, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation on Friday announced it will no longer include the painkiller OxyContin in its prescription drug formulary for injured workers, starting June 1.