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Ohio BWC Drops Painkiller Oxycontin From Formulary

It will be replaced by Xtampza ER

The powerful painkiller Oxycontin will no longer be newly prescribed for injured workers in the Ohio’s workers' compensation system starting June 1.

Following a recommendation from Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Chief Medical Officer Terry Welsh, the BWC’s board of directors voted to drop the drug from the BWC formulary and replace it with what Welsh calls “an equally effective but harder-to-abuse drug” named Xtampza ER.

“Xtampza is a sustained-release form of oxycodone, like OxyContin, but it utilizes a unique abuse-deterrent technology that makes it difficult to manipulate — crush, snort or inject — for aberrant use,” said Welsh. “Thanks to technology, this just seems like the next responsible step to protect our injured workers from potential addiction and overdose death to dangerous drugs.”

The BWC will phase out the use of Oxycontin and generic oxycodone sustained-release tablets over time, following best clinical practices and consultation with prescribing physicians.

The board’s vote follows other critical changes since 2011 by the agency to mitigate the opioid epidemic’s impact on Ohio’s workforce. Between 2011 and 2018, the number of opioid doses prescribed in the BWC system fell 66 percent.

“I applaud Dr. Welsh, our medical staff and the BWC Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee for their concerted efforts in this area,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “As Governor Mike DeWine has stated, 'no one single person or agency will solve this crisis — it takes a collective effort.' Our work continues, and I am proud we are doing our part.”

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