On Sept. 1, 2011, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) implemented the outpatient medication formulary rule for the pharmacy program. The formulary contains a list of drugs the BWC will cover when prescribed for allowed conditions in an approved claim. The Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee maintains the list, and regularly reviews and updates it. Drugs not previously reviewed by the committee and listed in the formulary are not eligible for coverage by BWC.
Beginning July 1, 2019, upon a recommendation from BWC Chief Medical Officer Terry Welsh, and BWC’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, the Bureau will no longer cover the powerful and frequently abused painkiller Oxycontin in an effort to phase out its use. The agency’s Board of Directors recently voted to drop the drug from the BWC formulary amid the nation’s opioid crisis, and replace it with a drug named Xtampza ER, which is harder to abuse. The new drug utilizes an abuse-deterrent technology that makes it difficult to crush, snort or inject. The committee’s recommendation follows a thorough consideration of current literature, accepted treatment guidelines, best clinical practices, FDA recommendations and information published by drug manufacturers. The agency will phase out the use of Oxycontin and generic oxycodone sustained-release tablets over time, following best clinical practices and consultation with prescribing physicians.
For more information regarding the agency’s decision to remove Oxycontin from the BWC formulary, read here. For more information regarding the connection between Ohio’s workers’ compensation and the opioid crisis, and what employers can do, watch our presentation The Dangers of Treating Pain with Drugs.