OxyContin®: Prescribing Patterns in Workers Compensation

Posted Date: February 2004
Industry InformationResearch  NCCI’s recent study “Prescription Drugs: Comparison of Drug Costs and Patterns of Use in Workers Compensation and Group Health Plans” examined the cost and use of prescription drugs in workers compensation. A key finding in the study is that painkillers represent 55% of the cost of prescriptions in workers compensation (WC). The controversial painkiller OxyContin® (see Appendix for description and background information) ranked second in terms of total paid, representing 6% of total drug costs. This study was conducted to summarize public policy issues within the larger medical community and to offer some insights into the prescribing patterns and uses of OxyContin® in WC. Key Findings Permanent partial disability claims represented almost 69% of all WC claims with OxyContin® prescription(s) For the top 25 diagnoses involving OxyContin® prescription(s), back injuries represented over 49% Clerical and professional occupations represented almost 14% of all WC claims with OxyContin® prescription(s) Almost all (99.84%) OxyContin® prescriptions were for 100 tablets. This quantity usually represents a 50-day supply