Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features CWCI’s recent release of the second in a series of three new research reports that examine low-volume/high-cost drugs used to treat injured workers in California.
The report identifies three Dermatological drugs, three Opioids, and three Antidepressants that, despite their small share of prescriptions within their respective drug groups, have emerged as significant cost drivers due to their high average reimbursements. Key findings included that Dermatologicals, the fourth most prevalent drug category in 2021, which comprised 9.3% of scripts, ranked second in drug spend, accounting for 17.3% of all prescription drug payments. Opioid usage in workers’ comp has seen a decade-long decline, with their share of total drug spend falling to 5.8% in 2021 from 26.7% in 2012, but the mix of drugs used has also shifted. Lastly, three antidepressants consumed a disproportionate share of the group’s drug spend, despite their relatively low-volume use.