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Gov Approves Measure Encouraging Safer Opioids

Judy Van Der Velden via Flickr

Insurance coverage for abuse-deterrent opioids could become the norm after Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed off on a provision Friday. 

Under a new law, health insurers won’t be able to steer patients away from new, abuse-resistant opioids.  So-called fail-first policies require prescriptions start with cheaper, traditional drugs.  Sen. LizbethBenaquisto (R-Ft. Meyers) sponsored the legislation.

“The insurer may not require the use of a non abuse-deterrent version before providing coverage for abuse deterrent drugs—meaning they don’t have to fail first,” Benaquisto explained on the Senate floor.  “Second, a health insurer who already provides coverage for opioids may impose a prior authorization requirement for those formulations, only if the same prior authorization is in place for non abuse-deterrent forms of the medication.”

Supporters believe those changes will encourage prescribers to choose safer medications for pain.