© 2024 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

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.  

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.