When discussing the growing cost of drugs, we tend to frame the topic around name-brand versus generic drugs, with a view that despite the cost-saving opportunities of generics, overall spending on drugs continues to increase. However, segmenting the drug market into categories beyond purely brand versus generic drugs enables us to more accurately identify the major trends and drivers for drug prices in workers’ compensation. It is possible for drug spending to decline even when drug prices are increasing based on enhanced patient outcomes resulting from clinical pharmacy management and changes in claim counts and injury severity.
In part one, we will provide an overview of three of the most important market segments driving pharmaceutical spending: the specialty drug market, compounding and physician dispensing. Coming soon for part two of this report, we will examine the overall pharmaceutical market looking at trends impacting price and utilization.