Fedweek

The FECA program will put in place over the next year a series of policies aimed at improving medication safety and further restricting prescriptions for opioids, the Labor Department has said.

Under a new contract to manage the prescription drug aspect of the program, injured federal workers “will have increased access to medications through a vast network of pharmacies and the ability to search for their medication authorization status through a web portal,” an announcement said. “A prior authorization portal will also be available for prescribers to assist them with getting medications approved. Department staff will gain access to better knowledge of the medications prescribed through a web-based system that details injured workers’ medication regimens and provides clinical recommendations about each case.”

“At the point of sale, real-time safety checks will notify the dispensing pharmacist of any major safety precautions such as allergy warnings, drug-to-drug interactions, max dosages, duplications of therapy and other considerations. These safety checks can automatically prevent harmful prescriptions from being dispensed,” it added.

The program further will be able to review an expanded list of beneficiary medication profiles and to perform outreach to prescribers, a type of outreach currently available only relating to beneficiaries prescribed opioids at a high dosage, it said. The program also previously required that for opioid prescriptions, a physician must certify that he or she considered other treatment options and is monitoring the use of the drug.