The U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted in favor of approving a drug implant that would combat addiction to opioids. While it may be beneficial to those addicted, it may also mean added costs for those who are paying for workers compensation.
Probuphine, the implant in question, is surgically inserted by a doctor under the skin of a patient’s arm. It delivers a daily dose of buprenorphine for a maximum of six months. In a typical case, a patient who is on a controlled substance for pain relief is tapered off of that opioid and onto oral buprenorphine. The patient is then tapered off the buprenorphine. What happens in many cases, though, is that buprenorphine continues to be taken.
When a patient has an implant inserted, they do not take the drug orally. They can then be tapered off of the drug at an appropriate rate as determined by their doctor. But how is this going to affect workers’ compensation?
What those paying into the program fear is that doctors will begin to rely on these implants instead of offering their patients the cheaper oral tablet alternative. The implants are considerably more expensive and if people are injured at work, employers could be paying out more in claims to cover the cost of the drug. Whether or not that begins to happen remains to be seen.
If you have been injured at work and need an attorney, call our offices today. A member of our team will review the details of your case and advise you how to best proceed. Call now or brose our website for more information.