Medical costs increased on average 5% to 5.5% per year from 2004 to 2009, and pharmacy costs per injured worker rose 6.5% in 2009, according to PMSI, a worker’s compensation pharmacy benefits manager. Claim rates for worker’s compensation experienced a 4% decrease in 2009.
According to PMSI’s Annual Drug Trends Report, these trends have necessitated a strong focus on the management of prescriptions to better control drug spend.
The increase in pharmacy costs was driven by a 4.7% rise in prescription prices and a 1.7% uptick in utilization. The rise in manufacturer average wholesale price of 6.3% remains the primary driver for price increases.
However, the report noted a 3.6%-increase in mail order utilization resulted in an overall decrease in average prescription price. In addition, the use of generic medications decreased the average spend per injured worker by 0.12% or $2.31 in 2009.The full report can be requested from http://www.pmsionline.com/annual-drug-trends-report.