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OBWC to Phase Out Coverage of OxyContin

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]!ut/p/z1/pVPLcoIwFP0VXbjMJLzDMjK-GK1lFJVsOjwC0kLwQUH_vmGmi7aO0Nbsbu65557cewIp3EHK_SpN_DItuJ-J2KP6y9KcT6YzFT3huYoR2TjjESFYkRUdbn8AZGwgMtZmq_nEWWprFdKvaaSrI-QgLFm2pSo6kT7r0Z1D0O_qWwC0Xf8GUkhDXh7KPfSCOuyFBS8ZL3uMJ1l63g-QuBwgzuoz8HkEWCWS5wEqLtcGmfLTe8YajkOYRtDTDNUIdCkGPo4wUDVsAlMSoYyYjJmOfCWKbmZ2I4q2j2Tb9OuYeheHDWmSFYFY8XYIvWfDdEYO9IQw464wW2y7SlkNXV6cclG5-uO7p6irg_Zgh3b6IXqQ3u5yk_gu8mlhLRJB65d7kPK4gLvvXhGY9PV4pET4rvHapYS7fxvvkLuum2PlCt7iBfDsqq7XcW4F-KpkCen3PwDirpbq/dz/d5/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/

© 2020 Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 164


About this Author

Jacob Dobres, Dinsmore, workers’ compensation defense lawyer, Caseload Administration Attorney

A skilled litigator, Jacob focuses his practice on workers’ compensation defense. He has experience advising clients at every step of the process, from initial claim review and consideration through administrative hearings and, when necessary, through appeals to Ohio’s trial and appellate courts. In serving as the relationship partner for a Fortune 500 client, he honed his ability to manage a large caseload of administrative and court matters. Jacob is an effective negotiator, and has achieved successful settlements through direct negotiation and mediation. He also...

(614) 628-6932
Anthony Jagoditz, Workers Compensation Lawyer, dinsmore Shohl, law firm

Anthony (T.J) Jagoditz is a member of the firm's litigation department concentrating in workers' compensation issues. He counsels and collaborates with businesses of all sizes in the management of their workers' compensation programs from initial claim investigation to resolution. T.J. executes client strategies for all administrative hearings before the Industrial Commission of Ohio throughout the state, including issues of claim allowance, temporary total disability compensation, permanent total disability compensation, and medical/treatment issues. He also has significant experience trying cases before various courts of common pleas throughout the state.