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Florida lawmakers asked to explore drug formulary

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compound medication

Florida could be the next state to adopt a drug formulary for its workers compensation system as it looks to control costs from compound prescriptions and other drugs.

A Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation panel met Wednesday to introduce the idea of a formulary, according to a copy of the panel's agenda posted online.

An information packet attached with the agenda says the panel "recommends the (Florida) Legislature grant the Division of Workers’ Compensation specific rule authority to establish a drug formulary, as long as such formulary is generally accepted by Florida’s employers, insurers, health care providers, and injured worker advocates; provides reasonable assurance in reducing or mitigating prescription drug costs; and ensures appropriate and effective treatment is provided to injured workers."

The Florida workers comp division hopes to stymie the prevalence of compound prescriptions in workers comp claims. Compounds combine at least two drugs to create unique — and pricey — topical creams and gels, injections, oral liquids and more. The drugs usually are customized for patients.

The panel's report shows that Florida workers comp claims included $2.5 million in payments for compound medications distributed by physicians in 2015, up from $1 million for physician-distributed compounds in 2014. Payments for pharmacy-distributed compound medications fell to $5.1 million in 2015, down from $7.8 million in 2014, according to the report.