WCRI FlashReport—Interstate Variation and Trends in Workers’ Compensation Drug Payments: 2016Q1 to 2019Q1

By Dongchun Wang, Vennela Thumula, Te-Chun Liu

June 30, 2020 Related Topics: Physician Dispensing, Rx Drugs and Opioids

This FlashReport presents data on quarterly payments for prescription drugs paid in workers’ compensation for key therapeutic groups of drugs over a three-year period from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2019 for 28 study states. The key drug groups are

  • dermatological agents,
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),
  • anticonvulsants,
  • musculoskeletal therapy agents,
  • opioids, and
  • compounds.

In addition, we provide an overview of other therapeutic drug groups that are important cost drivers of drug spending.

The 28 states in the study are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In each quarter, we include prescriptions that were dispensed for all medical claims with injuries occurring within three years of the prescription fill date and paid under workers’ compensation.

WCRI FlashReport—Interstate Variation and Trends in Workers’ Compensation Drug Payments: 2016Q1 to 2019Q1. Vennela Thumula, Te-Chun Liu, and Dongchun Wang. June 2020. FR-20-01.


Copyright: WCRI

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Research Questions:

  1. Did workers’ compensation prescription drug payments per medical claim decrease or increase during the study period?
  2. Did the prescription payments for the various drug groups increase or decrease?
  3. Which drug groups account for higher shares of prescription payments by the end of the study period?

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