In pharmacy news:

Express Scripts released its 2014 Workers’ Compensation Drug Trends Report. The data reveal that workers’ comp pharmacy spending increased 1.9 percent in 2014, as a 5.4 percent decrease in utilization helped offset a 7 percent increase in the cost per prescription. According to the pharmacy benefits manager, the “modest increase” in costs demonstrates the effectiveness of utilization checks. To support this, Express Scripts reports an 11 percent decrease in opioid utilization for 2014, however, cost-per-prescription for opioids increased, so the total spending on such medications in comp remained relatively flat. Other notable findings included the fact that, for the second year in a row, compounded products were one of the top ten costliest therapy classes for payers. Additionally, spending on specialty medications, though they represent less than one percent of all medications used by injured workers, increased 30.4 percent between 2013 and 2014, largely driven by expensive medications to treat hepatitis C.

Read more and access the report via WorkCompWire here.

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