WSIB Makes Drug Formularies Public after Prolonged Battle with Injured Workers and Advocates
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, ON–(January 24, 2017) – The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) made their drug formularies public yesterday after fighting injured workers and advocates for years to keep them secret.
IAVGO Community Legal Clinic asked the WSIB to make their formularies public in 2013 so that injured workers and their doctors would know what limited medication the WSIB will cover. After 3 years of intense lobbying from injured workers, negative media attention, and a lengthy appeal to the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC), the WSIB released its formulary online January 23, 2017.
“The WSIB too often sees their responsibility to provide health care to injured workers as an opportunity to conduct assessments rather than providing actual treatment. Letting injured workers and their doctors know what medication is covered hopefully means people are a little closer to getting the actual health care they need from the WSIB,” says Sang Hun Mun, an injured worker and member of IAVGO.
The WSIB continues to deny many medications and health care supports that treating doctors recommend. According to information obtained by IAVGO, the WSIB spent 30% less on prescription drugs in 2014 compared to 2009. And, treatment provided to injured workers by health care providers not affiliated with the WSIB was down 40 per cent between 2005 and 2014.
The WSIB’s decision to make their drug formularies public comes in the wake of mounting public criticism. Last year a group of psychologists urged the Ontario Ombudsman to investigate how the WSIB ignores their professional medical opinions. In June, injured workers demonstrated in cities across Ontario, and the WSIB received an open letter signed by prominent Ontarians and organizations, calling for the WSIB to provide the health care that treating doctors recommend.
“Publishing the formularies is a good step but there is so much more the WSIB has to do to ensure their health care decisions are not pushing people into financial and emotional crisis,” adds Mun.
For more information contact:
Maryth Yachnin or Jessica Ponting
IAVGO Community Legal Clinic