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Opioid costs per claim decrease: Study

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Opioid costs per claim dropped 10.7% from 2015 to 2016, according to Coventry’s pharmacy data culled for the managed care organization’s third Drug Trends Series report this year. 

Wednesday’s report by Downers Grove, Illinois-based Coventry followed similar studies on opioids in workers comp, confirming what experts have touted as a favorable trend in paying for pain medication for injured workers: fewer powerful, addictive and dangerous pain medications in comp.

The report broke opioids into the top most-prescribed medications, representing 78.3% of all opioids prescribed under managed care. The most popular at 33.1% of opioids prescribed, hydrocodone/acetaminophen saw a 22.1% decrease in cost per claim. Second on the list, representing 15.2% of opioids prescribed, was oxycodone/acetaminophen, which saw an 8.7% drop in cost per claim.

The report also found that 70.4% of all managed care opioid prescriptions are for claims older than three years.