Upcoming Legislative Action in Louisiana Aimed at Curbing Opioid Usage

Workers’ compensation closed pharmacy formulary bills were voted down at the last Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) meeting in late April and have not been re-scheduled for hearing Committee, but a few bills aimed at curtailing opioid use among Louisiana citizens generally have progressed quickly forward.

A couple proposed pieces of legislation – HB 592 and HB 529 –  would require the OWCA to create a closed formulary for workers’ compensation – one bill proposes that the formulary be done under the framework of the Medical Treatment Guidelines and requires adherence to the Official Disability Guidelines (ODG), while another suggests a Louisiana-specific formulary that does not use the ODG.  Another measure dealing with prescription drug use up for potential legislative action is HB 192.  This bill would create a seven day limit on opioid prescriptions when issuing the prescription for outpatient use to an adult patient with an acute condition.  The bill also has prohibitions on prescriptions issued to minors.  Also related is HB 436, which involves the creation of a prescription drug review committee within the Department of Insurance.  The bill requires the Committee to develop a list of critical prescription drugs made available in Louisiana and mandates that the manufacturers of prescription drugs provide information regarding the development of and pricing for the drugs.

The Louisiana legislative session ends on June 8th and more will be known about how the bills fare at that time.