March 19, 2020
The OSSTF Employee Life and Health Trust (ELHT), in partnership with Manulife and OTIP, is pleased to introduce the Step Opioid Drug Management program for new opioid prescriptions on or after April 1, 2020.
The new program will promote the safe and smart use of opioids for members who are using them for the first time or have not had an opioid prescription for six months. The program will help members to recover and get back to work sooner, healthier and with less chance of addiction or health issues caused by overuse and side effects.
This program only affects you and/or your dependents (family members) if you have coverage under the OSSTF ELHT Benefits Plan and are prescribed an opioid drug on or after April 1.
These prescriptions will now follow two steps:
Filling a small portion (up to 7 days) of a prescription will allow the pharmacist to check in on any side effects a patient may have and monitor their risk of tolerance and dependence.
Once the pharmacist/physician confirms a patient needs ongoing pain relief, then they are given the rest of their prescription.
This step can help reduce the risk of side effects and chronic use.
Long-acting opioids can cause harmful reactions, like a lowered breathing rate or overdose. The patient can also build up tolerance and dependence to these opioids more quickly.
This program is in place to improve awareness of the risks associated with opioids. The OSSTF ELHT wants to help you and your family get the medication you need and ensure the proper use of them for ongoing pain management.
Show your benefits card to your pharmacist. When you go to the pharmacy to fill your new opioid prescription on or after April 1, 2020 your benefits card will indicate to the pharmacist that your benefits plan participates in the Step Opioid Drug Management program.
You can learn more about the Step Opioid Drug Management program by contacting OTIP Benefits Services at 1-866-783-6847.
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