Jacksonville, FL - Florida Blue will no longer cover the popular pain killer OxyContin, claiming it is too easy to abuse.
The health insurance provider is following the lead of Florida Governor Rick Scott, who has declared opiod abuse a state emergency. According to Florida Blue, a Florida Medical Examiners Commission report puts opiods present at the time of death in 4,515 Floridians last year.
OxyContin is a narcotic pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain. Scott McClelland, vice president of commercial and specialty pharmacy at Florida Blue, says people who abuse OxyContin typically try to tamper with the drug by crushing it, creating a higher and faster acting dose that can be snorted or injected.
The company says the action taken will hopefully steer patients suffering from chronic pain in a better direction – away from the potential for misuse, while better managing existing pain.
Additionally, Florida Blue is working with its pharmacy benefit manager to identify and take proper actions when physicians prescribe opiods in patterns that raise concerns. They’re also increasing education and safety through new case management programs.
Florida Blue says they will replace OxyContin with the abuse-deterrent drug Xtampza ER.
Additional information about Florida Blue’s pharmacy guidelines is available under Medical & Pharmacy Policies and Guidelines on floridablue.com.