Florida Blue says they will no longer cover OxyContin for most customers
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida Blue, the largest health insurer in Florida, announced Tuesday that it will not cover OxyContin in its commercial lines of business starting Jan. 1, 2018. Medicare Advantage products are excluded from this policy change, according to a statement by Florida Blue. Florida Blue is taking this step as one part of its efforts to fight the opioid epidemic in Florida. This type of consumption can quickly lead to addiction and overdose,” said Scott McClelland, Pharm.D., vice president of commercial and specialty pharmacy at Florida Blue. Florida Blue said they also established case management programs related to opioid usage that focuses on member education and safety.
Florida medical examiner overwhelmed with overdose victims requests more funds
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The medical examiner, who for months has been overwhelmed with bodies of people who have overdosed on opioid, made her case Friday for additional funds as the City Council committee is reviewing the $1.2 billion budget proposal for next year. On a Monday especially," Chief Medical Examiner Valarie Rao said. On average, four of every seven bodies that arrive at the morgue are people who have died of a drug overdose. But during budget hearings, she and others were told that it could be five years before a new, $15 million facility could be built. The city is looking at having surrounding counties that use the medical examiner pitch in on the cost, and hopefully, get help from the federal government.
Woman used heroin, crashed vehicle with 2 toddlers, police say
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 22-year-old woman is facing a number of charges after police say she drove under the influence, crashed, all while there were two toddlers in her back seat. Police say Motter was seen driving in circles in the parking lot of Mercy Fellowship Church on St. Johns Bluff Road, then she crashed into a fence and then the church building. The Kia was still in drive when the officer approached Motter, who was passed out behind the wheel and unresponsive. Two toddler boys were in the backseat and appeared upset, the officer reported. The officer reported over hearing Motter telling JFRD and then a nurse at the hospital that she had used heroin.
Local law enforcement agencies prepared to give K-9s Narcan
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The state's opioid epidemic is affecting more than drug users, it's putting law enforcement and their K-9 partners at risk. Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood says all of his k-9 handlers are equipped with Narcan. Last year while raiding a suspected drug dealers home, three Broward County K-9s were rushed to veterinarians after ingesting a potentially deadly mix of heroin mixed with fentenyl. "If its gonna save a human life, why not save one of our k-9 partners as well." Now when put themselves in harms way to protect their community, their handlers will have a way to protect them.