(Reuters)—Amid a growing U.S. opioid addiction, health insurer Cigna Corp will stop covering OxyContin, the opioid painkiller sold by Purdue Pharma LP, as of January 1 and will instead cover an equivalent with a formulation less vulnerable to abuse, the company said on Wednesday.
The insurer has signed a “value-based contract” with Collegium Pharmaceutical Inc for Xtampza ER, an extended-release oxycodone equivalent that cannot be made more fast-acting through cutting or crushing.
Under the contract, Collegium will reduce the cost of the medication for many of Cigna’s benefit plans. Cigna said the contract makes the drug maker “financially accountable” if prescriptions exceed a specific daily dose threshold. The company did not immediately respond to requests for details.
Cigna said it believes that linking financial terms to dosage may encourage more education to prevent overprescribing.