BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will stop covering OxyContin prescriptions starting January 1, 2019 as part of an effort to combat opioid addiction.
The company will encourage doctors to recommend two alternatives to OxyContin.
The suggested alternatives, Xtampza and Morphabond, are more expensive opioid pain relievers, designed to be more difficult to abuse. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee customers will pay the same copay as for OxyContin, and BlueCross will absorb the additional cost.
This change affects only Tennessee, and Medicare customers and approved cancer and hospice patients are exempt.
OxyContin is manufactured by Purdue Pharma, which has been accused of intentionally fueling the opioid epidemic.