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CALL TO ACTION:
Support H.B. 18 to Combat Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Among Injured Workers

Please contact State House members in your area TODAY to urge support for H.B. 18, important legislation related to prescription drug and opioid overuse and abuse among injured workers in Pennsylvania. Opponents who profit from the current lack of safeguards are aggressively fighting this bill and lawmakers must hear the truth.

The Bill
H.B. 18 would implement a drug formulary for workers’ compensation. Formularies are standard in regular healthcare to ensure appropriate patient care and address over-use of prescription drugs. Formularies offer a flexible approach that makes treatment of typical patients more efficient, facilitates exceptions for unique cases and addresses the outlier instances of over-prescribing.

Why is it necessary?
Pennsylvania is facing a prescription drug and opioid abuse epidemic and seems to struggle particularly with respect to injured workers. PA ranked third in a recent 25-state study of opioid use among injured workers, measuring 78 percent higher than the median study state.

Utilizing a prescription drug formula in workers’ comp has helped mitigate prescription drug over-prescribing and abuse in many other states. For example, Ohio implemented its formulary in 2011 and has been able to reduce by half the number of workers’ compensation patients considered opioid dependent – from 9,343 to 4,723. The Pharmacy Director at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation said: “Our workers comp drug formulary has been a critical part of our statewide effort to fight prescription drug and opioid overuse and abuse.”

TAKE ACTION!

Please CLICK HERE for the House website, which lists members and links to contact information. Call your House member’s district and Harrisburg offices and tell the legislator or staff that you support H.B. 18 and urge the legislator to support it as well. Even just a few calls to a district office help show community support and can make a difference.

Please contact Alex Halper at (717) 720-5471 or ahalper@pachamber.org if you have any questions or to let us know that you’ve taken action.