COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will no longer offer coverage for Oxycontin and its generic versions by the end of the year.

The plan to phase out the highly-addictive opioids begins Saturday.

The bureau wrote in a press release, “Given their potential for abuse, misuse, addiction, and dependence, BWC will no longer pay for Oxycontin or generic sustained-release oxycodone tablets for workers who suffer on-the-job injuries on or after June 1. Injured workers currently on those medications will have until Dec. 31 to discontinue their use or switch to a different product on the agency’s formulary.”

“We are encouraging injured workers to discuss with their physicians other effective painkillers on our formulary and to explore non-medication treatment options for chronic pain,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud in the release. “Our priority remains the health and safety of our injured workers, which can be more challenging when an addiction enters the mix.”

Gov. Mike DeWine lauded the agency’s new rule.

“We want to prevent addiction, and I believe that this change will make an impact on Ohio’s opioid epidemic by promoting the safest possible treatments for injured workers with painful conditions,” DeWine said in the press release.