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Florida insurer to cease OxyContin coverage

November 8, 2017
by Tom Valentino, Senior Editor
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Florida Blue, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance company with more than 5 million members in the state, announced on Wednesday that it will no longer cover OxyContin (oxycodone) in its commercial lines, effective Jan. 1, 2018. The move follows a similar decision by Cigna, which announced last month that it will also cease coverage of the extended release oxycodone product as of Jan. 1.

In their respective decisions, both insurers cited the abuse potential of OxyContin, which can be crushed into a potentially dangerous faster-acting formula that can be snorted or injected.

As a replacement for OxyContin, Florida Blue and Cigna said in news releases that they will add to their formularies Xtampza ER, a long-acting oxycodone formula specifically designed to prevent abuse.

Florida Blue also announced it is taking three additional measures to curb opioid misuse:

  • Working with the Florida Blue pharmacy benefit manager to identify and manage physicians with potentially dangerous opioid prescribing patterns
  • Using a special investigation unit that works with local and federal law enforcement agencies when prescriber data identifies potentially fraudulent activity
  • Establishing case management programs related to opioid usage that focuses on member education and safety.