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Generic drugs common for managed prescriptions in comp: Study

Generic drugs common for managed prescriptions in comp: Study

Opioid use is down and generic drug prescriptions and opioid alternatives remain on the upswing in both managed and unmanaged prescribing in workers compensation, according to a study released Tuesday. 

Coventry Workers Comp Services’ second installment of its 2016 Drug Trends Series put a year’s worth of pharmacy data under the microscope, examining trends in prescribing behavior when compared to 2015 data. The latest report compares managed prescriptions, which represented 74.3% of all prescriptions tallied from retail, mail order and extended networks, and that of unmanaged care, accounting for 25.7% of prescriptions and classified as that which takes place out of network.

Researchers with Downers Grove, Illinois-based Coventry found that 97% of the managed population continues to use generic drugs and that 95.7% — a 1 percentage-point increase over 2015 — of those in the unmanaged population rely on generics. Opioid use also declined among both groups: a 1.1 percentage-point decrease for managed claims and a 2.1 percentage-point decreased for unmanaged. 

The report also found that the prescribing of such non-opioid drugs as anti-inflammatory medications, anticonvulsants and muscles relaxers has increased slightly — all under 5-percentage points — as opioid prescribing as declined in both managed and unmanaged categories.  


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