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Ohio Workers’ Compensation System Does Its Part to Mitigate the Opioid Epidemic’s Impact on the State’s Workforce (US)

In America’s heartland and one of the states hit hardest by the current opioid epidemic, Ohio’s workers’ compensation system will soon drop Oxycontin as a covered prescription.

Effective June 1, 2019, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will no longer pay for the most commonly abused opioid painkiller, Oxycontin. This change will affect those covered by the BWC, which is one of the few state monopolistic workers’ compensation systems and the largest state-run insurance system in the US.

Instead, Oxycontin will be replaced with what the BWC Chief Medical Officer, Terry Welsh, calls “an equally effective but harder-to-abuse drug” named Xtampza. The new drug, Xtampza, is engineered to resist manipulation common in abused drugs, including being able to be crushed, snorted or injected.

This development reflects a positive step for Ohio injured workers in the national fight against opioid addiction. However, there are and continue to be employment issues related to employee use of illegal and prescription drugs, which require the assistance of legal counsel.

*For warning signs of opioid addition see the BWC’s guide here. For assistance with your or a loved one’s addiction, please contact the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP and/or the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addition Services at 1-877-275-6364.

© Copyright 2020 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 95


About this Author

Anne Marie Schloemer, Employment Attorney, Squire Patton Boggs Law Firm

Anne Marie Schloemer (Prack) researches and analyzes legal sources for drafting memorandum, pleadings and position statements related to employment law. She also drafts discovery requests and responses, and prepares for depositions and litigation.

In addition, Anne Marie participates in all aspects of workers’ compensation administrative hearings including the preparation of client defenses to employees’ claims and medical histories and summaries.