Ohio worker's comp agency to switch painkiller for injured

Posted at 11:37 AM, Feb 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-23 11:37:02-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio agency says it will replace a painkiller widely blamed for the nation's opioid abuse crisis on its list of approved drugs for injured workers.

The board of directors for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation announced Friday it had voted to replace Oxycontin starting next July with Xtampza ER, another time-release painkiller seen as equally effective but harder to abuse.

The vote was based on a recommendation by Dr. Terry Welsh, the bureau's medical director, who says the state will follow best clinical practices in phasing out Oxycontin and generic oxycodone sustained-release tablets.

Welsh says Xtampza is formulated to make it difficult for users to crush, snort or inject the drug. He says it's a "responsible step" in protecting injured workers from possible addiction and fatal overdoses.