Insurers Restrict Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers More Than Opioids

The New York Times (9/17, A1, Thomas, Ornstein, Subscription Publication) reports that the New York State Attorney General’s office sent letters last week to the state’s three largest pharmacy benefit managers requesting information on “how they were addressing the crisis” with opioids amid questions that insurers are “are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications.”

The Times and ProPublica analyzed Medicare prescription drug plans covering 35.7 million people and found access to less-risky or more expensive painkillers was limited, but “almost every plan covered common opioids and very few required any prior approval.”

Related Links:

— “Amid Opioid Crisis, Insurers Restrict Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers,” KATIE THOMAS and CHARLES ORNSTEIN, New York Times, September 17, 2017.

Posted in In The News.