MAGGIE VALLEY, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CompPharma’s 15th Annual Survey of Prescription Drug Management in Workers’ Compensation showed that pharmacy costs in workers’ compensation have decreased by $1.1 billion during the past eight years.
“Pharmacy is no longer fastest-growing segment of work comp medical expenses,” said Joe Paduda, president of CompPharma, LLC. “Work comp payers, regulators and PBMs have been extremely successful in reducing drug spend, much more successful than other payers. Survey respondents reported a 9.84 percent decline in total pharmacy costs during the past year, while the national spend across all payer types decreased by a paltry 2.1 percent.”
Twelve of the 29 respondents credited clinical programs for the decrease while eight cited fewer opioid prescriptions. “The latter makes sense as workers’ compensation patients who take opioids usually also take other medications, often to combat opioid side effects,” Paduda said.
Despite their success, payers remain focused on opioid management. “They know that far too many patients still use opioids and are concerned about the risk of addiction and dependency,” Paduda noted.
The trend toward consolidation in the PBM industry concerned some respondents. “Some payers believe the large PBMs will be less willing to compete for their business and less willing to customize programs for them,” Paduda said. “At the same time, some see the potential that more resources and better buying power will help them further reduce costs.”
The survey analyzed the 2017 pharmacy cost data of 29 workers’ compensation insurance carriers, third-party administrators, self-insured employers, and state funds. A complimentary copy of CompPharma’s 15th Annual Survey of Prescription Drug Management in Workers’ Compensation can be downloaded from https://tinyurl.com/WCPharm.
Established by industry consultants Joseph Paduda and Helen King Patterson, CompPharma, LLC is an advocacy, research and education organization focused on pharmacy management in workers’ compensation. More information is available at www.comppharma.com or by contacting Patterson at 813-690-4787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor note: The 2.1 percent is found in IQVIA’s April 2018 “Medicine Use and Spending in the US.” https://www.iqvia.com/institute/reports/medicine-use-and-spending-in-the-us-review-of-2017-outlook-to-2022