Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features the release of a new report from CWCI that found that sustained efforts to curb opioid prescriptions are paying off, with new data showing that in the past decade (2007-2017) the proportion of indemnity claim prescriptions for opioids fell alongside an increase in anti-inflammatories and anticonvulsants, which are often used as opioid alternatives.
Key findings included that although opioids remained the top drug group prescribed to workers with lost-time injuries, over the study period, their share of indemnity claim prescriptions declined from a record 32.1% in 2008 and ’09 to 23.2% in 2017. Their share of prescription payments fell from 30.5% to 18.6%. CWCI noted that as in prior research, the new data show the decline in opioid use accelerated in 2012, which tracked with tighter scrutiny by utilization review and independent medical review programs; restrictions by payors, pharmacy benefit managers, and medical provider networks; and increased physician and public awareness of opioid risks.
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