Massachusetts’ Opioid Working Group — aimed at combining the efforts of the medical community, law enforcement and the public to battle the current opioid epidemic — issued a list of recommendations in June, including a call to eliminate prescription fills by mail for schedule II medications. Based on this recommendation, Harvard Pilgrim will no longer authorize the dispensing of schedule II (C-II) opioids — e.g., OxyContin, Vicodin — through our Walgreens-administered mail service program, effective November 15, 2015.
We believe restricting this method of distribution supports safe prescribing and limits the risk of diversion. This change aligns with Harvard Pilgrim’s ongoing effort to combat the misuse and abuse of opioids. Refer to the June, July, and August issues of Network Matters for more articles on this topic, dealing with such issues as the safe and appropriate prescribing, storage, and disposal of opioids and addressing other government recommendations.
For information about Harvard Pilgrim pharmacy programs and medication policies, please visit the Pharmacy Program online.