By Stephen Sullivan, Managing Editor
Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features the Ohio BWC’s recent announcement that the number of opioid-dependent injured workers in its workers’ compensation system fell 19% last year, making 2017 the sixth consecutive year the numbers have fallen under the agency’s efforts to reduce opioid use and build a model pharmacy program.
The BWC’s Pharmacy Director Nick Trego told noted that the number of injured workers who met or exceeded the threshold of being clinically dependent on opioids fell to 3,315 at the end of fiscal year 2017, a 19% drop from 2016, and a 59% decrease since 2011. Those changes translate to 4,714 fewer injured workers at risk for opioid addiction, overdose and death than in 2011. Trego also pointed out that his department’s total drug costs fell to $86 million in 2017, which was $47 million less than in 2011, including $24 million less on opioids.
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