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Opioid epidemic As the years progress, prescription medications become a bigger portion of the medical expense, which is especially true if the injured worker has become dependent or addicted to opioid medication. (Image: Shutterstock)

Generally, prescription drug costs account for approximately 14% of a workers’ compensation claim. While prescription drug usage has decreased in recent years, the prices of prescription drugs continue to rise. The number of opioid prescriptions continues to decrease as physicians opt for alternative treatments for work injuries.

There are several negative trends becoming more prevalent that could increase workers’ compensation claim costs. Specialty medication usage and pricing continues to increase for injured workers. Older worker injury claims tend to cost more due to the increase in prescription drug pricing. Lastly, despite the decrease in opioid usage, injured workers are still too often prescribed unnecessary prescription drugs which can lead to dangerous health conditions and increased complexity of workers’ compensation claims.

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