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Report finds slight increases in comp drug costs


A reversal of a years-long trend that saw dips in drug use among injured workers, prescriptions in workers compensation inched up in 2022 with drug utilization per claim increasing 2.6%, costs per claim increasing 3.7%, and costs per prescription rising 1.1%, according to a report released Wednesday by Enlyte Group LLC.

Enlyte, which provides comp services, also found the top utilization trends included a 17.7% increase in migraine medications and an 11% increase in topicals, typically prescribed for pain management and almost always listed as among the most prescribed in comp.

Driving the increase in migraine medications are expensive brand prescriptions available to injured workers.

The report also found that opioid use continued to decline, as in years past. Yet, prescriptions for Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anticonvulsant medications for nerve pain, and antidepressants — all listed as opioid alternatives — increased 2.7%, 2.8% and 3.5%, respectively.