BATON ROUGE, La. — Hoping to prevent fatal overdoses, a House committee passed a bill to make it harder for injured Louisiana workers to access highly-addictive opioid drugs.

Lawmakers voted 8-5 Thursday to have prescribers consult a widely-used formulary before writing a prescription for patients with workers’ compensation insurance. Doctors would need preauthorization to prescribe drugs the formulary labels “non-preferred drugs,” including many opioids.

The full House next will consider the measure.

Louisiana has the sixth-highest opioid prescription rate in the nation.

Rep. Kirk Talbot, the Republican bill sponsor, says Texas adopted a similar system in 2011 and has seen a significant decrease in opioid prescriptions.

Opponents say the measure’s real aim is to save insurance companies money by making it difficult for injured workers to get needed drugs.


House Bill 16: www.legis.la.gov