Workers' Comp, pharmaceutical reform bill signed into law

Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Alleghaney) applauded the signing of a Workers' Compensation reform bill on Monday that makes medication more affordable for injured workers while limiting the amount of drugs doctors can directly dispense.

House Bill 1846, now known as Act 184, was written by Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks) in an effort to cut down on health care costs and addiction to narcotics. 

“This new law helps ease increasing costs while maintaining the availability and quality health care Pennsylvania workers expect,” Turzai said. “After months of collaboration with national policy experts and Pennsylvania’s job creators, health care, and insurance industries, this commonsense reform prevents abuse of potent and addictive painkillers while still providing patients with the convenience and immediate relief they need.”

In addition to closing a loophole that allowed doctors to charge more for drugs they directly dispensed to injured workers, the new law requires a 30-day limit on drugs dispensed directly by physicians. It also includes a seven-day limit on Schedule II and III prescriptions, or opiates, with a 15-day extension available for patients undergoing surgery.

The state's Department of Labor and Industry and the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania estimate that the new law will save employers $33 million each year. 

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