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Insurers overall averaged 11% less in pharmacy costs from 2015 to 2016, according to a study released Tuesday by CompPharma L.L.C.
Maggie Valley, North Carolina-based CompPharma released its 14th annual Prescription Drug Management in Workers’ Compensation survey after researchers analyzed the 2016 pharmacy cost data of 23 workers compensation insurers, third-party administrators, self-insured employers and state funds. All but four of them spent less on drugs in 2016, with three seeing declines of greater than 20% and six reporting declines greater than 15%, according to the report, for an average decline of 11%.
The survey also showed an overall drop of 13.3% in opioid costs — consistent with other national studies, the report said — with opioids accounting for 26.8% of the total pharmacy spend.
“Clearly the efforts of workers’ comp regulators, payers, desk-level staff, (pharmacy benefit managers) and prescribers have paid off,” CompPharma President Joseph Paduda said in a statement. “While we have much left to do, this represents a dramatic improvement in the lives of thousands of patients.”
More control over drugs such as powerful opioids, better integration with pharmacy benefits managers and prescriber interventions are among the reasons employers spent 8.7 % less in workers compensation drugs costs in 2015, according to a survey released Tuesday by a workers compensation PBM consortium.