BCBS of Alabama to drop coverage for OxyContin

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama will remove brand-name opioid OxyContin from its preferred drug list beginning Jan. 1, according to a news release obtained by NBC 15.

BCBS of Alabama said the change continues its efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Under the new policy, the health insurer's commercial members will see other drugs covered instead of OxyContin. These include Roxybond, an instant-release oxycodone formulation that the Food and Drug Administration considers abuse deterrent, and Lucemyra, the first nonopioid drug approved to treat symptoms of opioid withdrawal.  

In addition to OxyContin, BCBS of Alabama will also drop coverage for its generic oxycodone. Affected members have been notified of the change by mailed letters, and have several alternatives to choose from when it comes to long-acting opioids: morphine, tramadol, fentanyl and methadone.

More articles on opioids:
5 predictors of persistent opioid use among workers' comp patients
FDA approves opioid 10 times stronger than fentanyl
Opioid use may up atrial fibrillation risk by 34%

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