Insurers Express Disappointment at Governor’s Veto of Legislation Addressing Pennsylvania’s Opioid Crisis

HARRISBURG, Penn. – The following statement regarding Gov. Wolf’s veto of Senate Bill 936, which was aimed at helping injured workers and curbing opioid prescription abuse by establishing a formulary for prescription medications in the workers compensation system can be attributed to Micaela Isler, assistant vice president of state government relations for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

“The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is disappointed that Gov. Wolf vetoed Senate Bill 936. However, the insurance industry is committed to working with the Governor’s office, lawmakers and regulators to implement the necessary reforms that have proven to reduce the prescription of addictive opioid drugs and assist injured workers return to work.

“With the Pennsylvania workers compensation system being plagued by the over-prescription of pain medications, especially opioids, this legislation was the best route to implement a scientifically valid, evidence-based formulary to control the overprescribing of opioids. Time is of the essence as a recent study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute, ranks Pennsylvania second for the number of opioids given to injured workers.

“Other states have passed similar reforms to their workers’ comp systems and have seen a reduction in the number of opioid prescriptions and a faster return to work for injured employees. We are encouraging policymakers in Pennsylvania to keep this issue on the front burner to protect injured workers.”

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PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write $216 billion in annual premium, 36 percent of the nation's property casualty insurance. Member companies write 43 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 29 percent of the homeowners market, 34 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 36 percent of the private workers compensation market.