Our Columbus-area readers may be interested in some new figures that have been released by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, although the data may signal a disturbing trend. According to the recent report, approximately 20 percent of the total funds paid out of the state insurance fund for injured workers goes toward payment of prescription drugs. And almost 33 percent of those funds paid for narcotic painkillers in 2011.
Injured Ohio workers may be affected by the nationwide practice of prescribing strong narcotic painkillers or opioids like OxyContin, Percocet and Duragesic to treat the pain from injuries like back strains. Many workers' compensation professionals now believe that the use of these drugs to treat common workplace injuries is sometimes excessive, and in some cases may have a detrimental impact on the ability of injured workers to recover and return to work.