In national news:

A bill mandating a closed drug formulary for California’s workers’ comp system has passed that state’s Legislature and is set for Governor Brown’s consideration. The measure (AB 1124) was adopted in the final moments of its 2015 session Friday and would establish an “evidence-based” prescription drug formulary by July 1, 2017. The major stated goal of the formulary is to cut down on opioid prescriptions and abuse, which stands as a national public health issues as well as an oft-cited workers’ comp concern. According to a Business Insurance update, the California bill would require the administrative director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation to update the formulary at least quarterly to allow for all appropriate medications, including new ones, and the establishment of an independent pharmacy and therapeutics committee. It would also require the administrative director to meet and consult with stakeholders, employers and doctors before adoption of the formulary and to publish two interim reports on the division’s website describing the status of the formulary. A transition period to wean injured workers off of prescriptions (like opioids) deemed not appropriate has yet to be determined but is expected.

Read more from Business Insurance here. Access the full text of AB 1124 here.

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