Opiod Crisis: Florida Blue Refuses To Cover Oxycontin In 2018

Big Insurance fighting back
Posted at 5:57 PM, Nov 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 18:51:36-05

First Cigna, now Florida Blue is refusing to cover the powerful and addictive pain medication oxycontin.

Florida Blue-- the states largest insurer-- announced it will stop covering oxycontin starting in January.

Instead they'll cover "Xtampza ER," an extended release medication which Florida Blue claims is harder to abuse because the pills can't be crushed.

"That’s absolutely not the answer," says Robin Piper with Turning Point of Tampa, who points out no drug is abuse proof and the insurance companies apparently don't know how far addicts will go.

"We have clients and employees who can tell you exactly how to abuse that drug," she said.

Mark Mainardi of Turning Point, who successfully battled addiction himself, says insurance companies are missing the point: drug dealers don't have insurance.

"Some addicts don’t even have insurance and if they are putting caps on pills or how much you can have at a time my dealer probably doesn’t have that insurance and he probably doesn’t care and I’m probably going to find those pills wherever I’m going to find them," he says.

Opiod overdoses killed 2,500 people in Florida in 2015 and thousands more since.