Lack of transparency remains issue in comp pharmacy

A lack of transparency in workers compensation pharmacy continues to be an issue for much of the industry, according to a CompPharma study released Tuesday.

Opioid prescriptions and overall pharmacy spend declined between 2017 and 2018, reported Maggie Valley, North Carolina-based CompPharma in its 16th annual Survey of Prescription Drug Management in Workers Compensation study. However, 83% of the survey respondents said a lack of transparency in pricing remains their top issue in workers comp pharmacy, said the company in a statement.

For the survey, CompPharma reached out to decisionmakers, clinical personnel and operations staff from workers compensation insurers, third-party administrators, self-insured employers and state funds with average annual drug spend ranging from $400,000 to more than $200 million.

Overall drug spend based on data from the respondents decreased by about 10% between 2017 and 2018, according to the statement, which respondents attributed to renegotiated contracts. Opioid spend dropped by nearly 20%, with more than half of those surveyed reporting that they had made progress curbing the initial use of opioids and reducing long-term use.

Some respondents suggested that drug costs be separated from value-added services, such as clinical management, and stressed the need for vigilance in the event that some new cost driver is “right around the corner,” said the company.

This article was first published by Business Insurance.

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