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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Blue Cross of Idaho, which insures more than 500,000 residents, is implementing new guidelines for the prescription of opioid painkillers.

The Post Register reports the move is an effort to combat the rising number of opioid addictions and overdose deaths in the state.

The company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Daniel Meltzer, says the new guidelines come in response to emerging research and updated Centers for Disease Control guidelines for the use of opioids.

Vice President for Clinical Consultancy Karen Smith-Hagman says the company also recently placed Naloxone, a medication that can be used to arrest an opioid overdose, to the top tier on its formulary. That will reduce copays for the generic form of the drug.

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Smith-Hagman says the company is working with pharmacies to ensure the drug is available.

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Information from: Post Register, http://www.postregister.com