OBWC to Phase Out Coverage of OxyContin

June 13, 2019Legal Alerts

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will no longer offer coverage for OxyContin by the end of 2019. The agency announced this change, given the drug’s potential for abuse, misuse, addiction, and dependence. The BWC will no longer pay for OxyContin or generic forms of the medication for workers who suffer an industrial injury on or after June 1, 2019. Injured workers who are currently on OxyContin will have until Dec. 31, 2019 to discontinue their use or switch to a product that remains approved under the BWC medication formulary.

BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud said the intent for the new policy is to encourage injured workers “to discuss with their physicians other effective painkillers on our formulary and to explore non-medication treatment options for chronic pain.”i Recognizing the importance of discontinuing opioid use altogether, Administrator McCloud indicated BWC will reimburse for certain opioid cessation services.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine praised the agency's new rule. "We want to prevent addiction, and I believe that this change will make an impact on Ohio's opioid epidemic by promoting the safest possible treatments for injured workers with painful conditions,"ii he said.

Approved by BWC’s board of directors in February, the rule follows the results of a study conducted over the past year by BWC’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, which is comprised of physicians and pharmacists in the workers’ compensation system.

The policy change does not apply to immediate-release Oxycodone, a medication prescribed for acute pain.


[i] [ii] https://info.bwc.ohio.gov/wps/portal/bwc/site/news-and-events/oxycontinrule/!ut/p/z1/pVPLcoIwFP0VXbjMJLzDMjK-GK1lFJVsOjwC0kLwQUH_vmGmi7aO0Nbsbu65557cewIp3EHK_SpN_DItuJ-J2KP6y9KcT6YzFT3huYoR2TjjESFYkRUdbn8AZGwgMtZmq_nEWWprFdKvaaSrI-QgLFm2pSo6kT7r0Z1D0O_qWwC0Xf8GUkhDXh7KPfSCOuyFBS8ZL3uMJ1l63g-QuBwgzuoz8HkEWCWS5wEqLtcGmfLTe8YajkOYRtDTDNUIdCkGPo4wUDVsAlMSoYyYjJmOfCWKbmZ2I4q2j2Tb9OuYeheHDWmSFYFY8XYIvWfDdEYO9IQw464wW2y7SlkNXV6cclG5-uO7p6irg_Zgh3b6IXqQ3u5yk_gu8mlhLRJB65d7kPK4gLvvXhGY9PV4pET4rvHapYS7fxvvkLuum2PlCt7iBfDsqq7XcW4F-KpkCen3PwDirpbq/dz/d5/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/