March 18, 2018

New WCRI Report: Louisiana Tops List of Highest Workers’ Comp Drug Costs

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Injured workers in Louisiana receive more prescriptions for medications, more pills per prescription and paid more per pill than other states in a new study conducted by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

The WCRI report, Prescription Benchmarks, 2nd Edition: Trends and Interstate Comparisons, found that among the 17 states studied, Louisiana had the highest workers’ compensation prescription costs.

At $1,182, the average workers’ compensation prescription payment per claim with prescriptions was more than three times as high as that in the lowest cost state, 50-70 percent higher than the states with higher prescription costs.

The study cited a number of factors behind the high costs, including:

  • The higher workers’ compensation pharmacy fee schedule in Louisiana,
  • The higher average number of pills per workers’ compensation claim — 85 percent higher than the 17-state median— particularly for pain medications and muscle relaxants,
  • More frequent use of brand names where generic equivalents or alternatives were available,
  • Higher prices paid to physicians who dispensed drugs directly to their patients.

The complete report is available here (purchase required).

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