Florida Blue Unveils Plans to Stop Coverage of OxyContin in 2018
Florida Blue has unveiled to the public its plans to stop the coverage of OxyContin starting from the 1st of January 2018.
Florida Blue is a Jacksonville based and Florida leading health insurance provider established with the primary aim of providing affordable health insurance to individuals, businesses, and Medicare individuals in Florida.
OxyContin is an Oxycodone hydrochloride controlled-release narcotic drug used in the treatment of moderate to severe long-term pains.
Florida Blue’s plan to stop the coverage of this powerful but addictive drug is inspired by the observation that there is an abundance of opioids prescribed to its numerous members which represents a risk for abuse and provides evidence that patients may be receiving the drug more than they require.
In line with the new health care policy, Florida Blue will drop coverage of OxyContin for all group and individual health insurance plans, except Medicare Advantage plans.
“Based on the available records, our company offers approval of about 1.5 million opioid prescriptions for our members each year. On average, about 8 percent of the insurer’s members use these opioids for longer than 30 days” said Scott McClelland, vice president of commercial and specialty pharmacy.
According to the 2016 interim report from the Florida Medical Examiners Commission, toxicology results determined that opioids were present at the time of death in 4,515 Floridians last year”.
To ensure that patients receive maximum care and also prevent abuse related with the controlled-release drug, an alternative Oxycodone based drug named Xtampza ER will be covered by Florida Blue.
Xtampza ER is approved by the Federal Drug Administration for management of severe pain that requires long-term opioids treatment.
However, the coverage of Xtampza ER will be strictly in line with the health care policy enacted by the health insurance provider in 2015 which requires that prior authorization should be received for all Oxycodone prescriptions of more than seven days.