Spurred by America's opioid abuse crisis, Penske Automotive Group Inc. is reviewing prescriptions for powerful painkillers with the goal of curbing abuse.
For more than a year, the retailer has worked with its insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield, to monitor opioid prescriptions. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Penske cannot find out about any employee's medical problem, but the insurance provider can contact doctors to ask whether there might be a problem with opioids and possibly get help for an individual, said Bud Denker, executive vice president of human resources for Penske Automotive.
"The good news for our company, we've been told the issue for us is not a major one," Denker told Automotive News. "But in my mind, one issue is too many, and I want to be made aware. But most importantly, I want people to know they can come to us and get help before it's too late."
The company has added opioids, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, to its pre-employment drug screening tests. It also has reduced the initial number of opioid pills a person can be prescribed to a five-day supply, down from 30 days.
Denker said, "We want to ensure that if you have a problem, a broken leg or an issue, you're not taking this drug for five days and the rest goes in your medicine cabinet and sits around for abuse."