The Prevalence and Costs of Physician-Dispensed Drugs

By Dongchun Wang, Vennela Thumula, Te-Chun Liu

October 1, 2013 Related Topics: Medical Costs, Physician Dispensing, Prescription Drugs and Opioids

In many states across the country, policymakers are debating whether doctors should be paid significantly more than pharmacies for dispensing the same drug. This 24-state reference book will allow policymakers to see how their state compares with other states as well as what actions other states have taken with regard to this issue. 

This reference book describes the prevalence, prices, and costs of physician-dispensed drugs in 24 study states, which represented 70 percent of the total workers’ compensation benefits paid in the United States. It also compares prices paid for physician- and pharmacy-dispensed prescriptions for the same drugs and tracks changes in prices, for drugs commonly dispensed by physicians to injured workers.  

The data used for this reference book came from 24 states with more than 600,000 claims and 4.8 million prescriptions, focusing on claims with more than seven days of lost time with prescriptions filled and paid for by a workers’ compensation payor. The data collected from the payors represented 26–58 percent of the claims in each state. The study covers claims with injuries arising from October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2011, with prescriptions filled through March 31, 2012.  

The following states are included in this study: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  

The Prevalence and Costs of Physician-Dispensed Drugs. Dongchun Wang, Te-Chun Liu, and Vennela Thumula. September 2013. WC-13-39. 

Copyright: WCRI

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