Please support law that will protect injured workers from addiction


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To the Editor:

The opioid epidemic has had a notable impact on workers injured on the job. In a recent 26-state study, Pennsylvania ranked second compared to other states for opioid use among injured workers. It has reached such a level that in early January, Gov. Tom Wolf officially declared the issue a statewide emergency.

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is urging legislators to enact S.B. 936 — legislation that would help fight this epidemic as it relates to injured workers by implementing a prescription drug formulary for workers’ compensation, as a key part to the overall strategy in addressing the overuse and abuse of prescription drugs in the Commonwealth. Formularies offer a flexible approach that brings efficiency to patient treatment and addresses instances of over-prescribing.

The data shows that formularies have been effective in reducing opioid use among injured workers in other states. In the three years after Ohio implemented its formulary, the number of opioid prescriptions declined by 38 percent, and the number of workers’ compensation patients considered opioid dependent reduced by half.

Elected officials should embrace this legislation to help protect injured workers from abuse and potential addiction. Call your state representative today and tell them to vote yes on S.B. 936!

Gene Barr

President and CEO

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
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