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Workers compensation pharmacy spending decreased 3.3% in 2017 drug use by injured workers went down, according to the 12th annual myMatrixx Drug Trend Report. released Tuesday.
Drug utilization among injured workers decreased by 4.4% per user, while spending on prescription drugs decreased by 3.3% between 2016 and 2017. Opioid utilization also declined, driven by aggressive clinical solutions and increased regulatory activity, Matrix Healthcare Services Inc., which does business as myMatrixx, said in the study.
Drug spend on opioids declined 11.9% for workers compensation payers in 2017, to $342.57 per user from $388.80. The percentage of injured workers who used opioids for 30 or more days decreased to 22.0% in 2017 from 24.6% in 2016, according to the study.
In addition, spending on compounded medications decreased, with a decline of 37.9% in 2017, and spending on specialty medications to treat conditions such as HIV and osteoarthritis increased 3.8% in 2017, according to the study.
Artemis Emslie, Tampa, Florida-based CEO of pharmacy benefit manager Matrix Healthcare Services Inc., which does business as MyMatrixx, recently announced she will leave the firm in May 2018, nearly a year after it was acquired by Express Scripts Holding Co. Ms. Emslie has been at MyMatrixx since 2012 and has nearly 25 years of experience in both the workers compensation and group health industries. Named a Business Insurance Woman to Watch in 2015, she spoke Tuesday with BI Reporter Louise Esola about her intentions to continue working in the field. Edited excerpts follow.