A decision will soon be made on a bill that could jeopardize the care you would need and deserve after a workplace injury. The bill – SB 936 – proposes a “drug formulary” that could take decisions out of your doctor’s hands and give the power to a system that is commanded by the insurance industry.
A drug formulary is a pre-approved list of prescription drugs. Medical insurers often use formularies to control prescription costs by listing which drugs insurers will cover.
Not only would the proposed bill create a one-size-fits-all approach to workers’ medical care; it could also worsen the opioid crisis as it reduces physician choice. The Pennsylvania Association for Justice – a trial lawyer organization of which this firm is a member – offered amendments to the bill that took the opioid crisis into account, but they were rejected.
Opioids are often prescribed for pain, which many of those who have been injured in construction and industrial industries suffer from after years working at a very physical job. Yet the pain medicine academy has not been consulted on any aspect of this bill. This change could be catastrophic for those who suffer from extreme pain, but who are presently stable and receiving proper care. Drug formularies are primarily driven by cost – so the patient’s care will be determined by profit – not by individual circumstances, and not by appropriateness of the drug a doctor prefers for a patient’s unique case.
Although a drug formulary could be extremely harmful for those being treated for pain, it could also have a major impact on anyone suffering from a chronic condition. For example, if someone with asthma has a good result with a particular medication – but that medication is not listed on the formulary – the sufferer will be forced to use a cheaper, potentially less effective alternative.
A drug formulary would not only have control over the specific drugs that can be prescribed for a patient; it will also have control over the dosage and the duration of the prescription. One thing is for certain: if this bill is passed, it would make it much harder for injured workers to receive the treatment they need, or to have access to the prescriptions they need.
For information about how you can help stop this bill from being passed, visit Protect Our PA.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you have rights. Contact us online or call 412-765-1888 today to schedule free case evaluation. The knowledgeable and highly skilled Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. serve clients throughout Western Pennsylvania, including those in Allegheny County, Lawrence County, Washington County and New Castle, Pennsylvania.