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Opioids – Oxycodone and Hyrocodone Gain In Popularity

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Generic Opioids Gain In Popularity- Oxycodone

Opioids have been on the Workers Comp radar screen over the past few years due to their abuse and dependency by injured workers.  Hydrocodone (Vicodin) seemed to be the most popular according to the pharmacists that were contacted in 2011 and early 2012.

White Opioids Vicodin tablet
Wikimedia Commons – dea.gov

Vicodin is so addictive that people would actually line up to get their prescriptions just after midnight upon renewal of their 30 day Rx.   Workers Comp was no different as there seemed to be a trend towards long-term heavy usage.

According to two pharmacists I talked with in December 2012 (one works the night shift 11PM – 7AM), Vicodin is now much less prescribed likely due to its horrendous effects on the stomach.  In fact, the night-shift pharmacist indicated that 30mg Oxycodone is the #1 drug dispensed during his/her shift.    

One of the most intriguing aspects is that Hydrocodone/Vicodin is a very strong compound.  However, the dosages are much smaller than when compared to Oxycodone/Percocet.  Both pharmacists pointed out that Oxycodone can be prescribed up to a 30mg dose.  Even though Vicodin is stronger (7.5 mg Vicodin = 10mg Percocet),  the largest dose of Vicodin available is 10mg.

Picture Opioids Pills
StockUnlimited

Using a very quick math formula, 30mg of Percocet would equal 22.5mg of Vicodin or over two doses.

Due to bad press, OxyContin is now not as popular as in the past.  OxyContin is actually just time- released Oxycodone.

The bottom line is that Oxycodone is very popular now as the dosage can be up to 30mg.   That is a large amount of immediate-release medication.  Oxycontin can be found in 165mg dosages, but it is a time-released opioid.

The FDA is now becoming more involved in opioid education.  The FDA seemed more interested in educating consumers on extended release or long-acting opioids.  They may want to add Oxycodone to the list.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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