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Lawmakers Want Insurance Companies To Cover Costs Of Tamper-Proof Pills

State lawmakers have introduced a bill designed to help curb Ohio's prescription drug overdose epidemic. It requires insurance companies to provide coverage for tamper-resistant drugs that are more difficult to abuse.  Drug overdoses are the state's leading cause of accidental death. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

That’s the sound of two lawmakers, equipped with a hammer, trying to crush and smash a tamper-proof pill into powder, and they’re failing.  
Republican Representative Robert Sprague of Findlay and Democratic Representative Nickie Antonio of Lakewood want to require health insurance companies to cover the cost of these powerful painkillers.  
Elizabeth Lottes with the central Ohio rehab facility Maryhaven says a coating on these pills keep addicts from smashing them to short for a quick high.  
“You cannot scrape this coating off - we tried at Maryhaven. We tried scraping it, we tried melting it, he tried putting it in his mouth, we could not get the coating to break down,” said Lottes.  
Doctors could still choose the tamper-proof or the regular pill. The lawmakers say the health insurance industry is pushing back because of the higher cost of these pills.  

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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