John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.
In an effort to combat the national opioid crisis, President Trump declared a national public health emergency on Thursday, Oct. 26. Since then, multiple hospitals, pharmacies, and first responders have taken a stance to prevent the opioid crisis from spreading. Now, one of the state's largest medical insurance company is ending coverage of Oxycodone (OxyContin®), a legal pharmaceutical form of an opioid; only legal by prescription.
Florida Blue, a branch of the national insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield, announced on Wednesday, Nov. 8, they will no longer be covering Oxycontin in its commercial lines of business, effective Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.
This change was brought due to the statewide opioid epidemic that Gov. Scott declared earlier this year. The Florida Medical Examiners Commission presented toxicology results that showed that opioids were present at the time of death in over 4,000 Florida residents in 2016. Florida Blue says OxyContin® will be replaced with Xtampza ER, a new oxycodone formula created specifically to prevent drug abuse. Xtampza ER has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to help better manage severe pain that otherwise needs long-term care.
“After careful review of the scientific data supporting the abuse-deterrent features of Xtampza ER, we decided to replace OxyContin® on the formulary and believe this will be an important step to addressing the opioid epidemic among the people we serve in the state,” said Scott McClelland, Vice President of Commercial and Specialty Pharmacy at Florida Blue.
For more information about this move by Florida Blue, you may visit their website at floridablue.com.