Health insurance company Cigna will no longer cover the painkiller drug OxyContin starting in 2018. This comes after the growing opioid addiction problem in the United States. Each year 15,000 people die from painkiller overdoses and 1,000 of those deaths are related to OxyContin.
We spoke with half a dozen pharmacists and addiction specialists who say they are happy to see steps being taken to curb the addiction problem in America, however it’s Oxycodone not OxyContin that’s the real issue.
Oxycodone is the main ingredient in OxyContin. Oxycodone is a very powerful opioid drug, which is used as a pain reliever.
Many Pharmacists agree that Oxycodone is easier to get because it’s prescribed for not just long term but short term pain like dental procedures and migraines.
Cigna is notifying customers with current OxyContin prescriptions of the change. Those using OxyContin for hospice care or cancer treatments will continue to have medication covered in 2018.
Starting January 1st, Cigna will no longer cover OxyContin, but they will cover an equivalent pain reliever with a formulation less vulnerable to abuse.