Study Investigates Effectiveness of Compounds

Apr 3, 2014
A recent study found no clinical evidence that compounds are more effective than commercially available, manufactured drugs.
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance

At Express Scripts, we leverage the insights from our clinical research to develop innovative solutions that help workers’ compensation payers rein in costs, while ensuring the safety of injured workers.

We also collaborate widely with others across the workers’ compensation industry to proactively identify emerging issues facing payers. Acting as a trusted adviser, we develop strategies to address those issues.

We recently teamed up with other members of CompPharma, a consortium of workers’ compensation pharmacy benefit managers, to analyze the use of compounded medications in workers’ compensation. Our analysis found no clinical evidence that compounded medications commonly used in workers’ compensation are more effective than commercially available, manufactured drugs. Compounded medications are tailored drugs prepared by mixing, combining or altering ingredients.

Compounded medications generally do not have standardized dosages and duration for use, and do not undergo the same rigorous drug review process as commercially available drugs, which are approved by the FDA. Study findings suggest that because of this, compounds could pose patient safety concerns.

Express Scripts is already proactively addressing the issue of compounded medication in workers’ compensation through our physician education program, as well as our prior authorization capabilities. We are aligned with our clients in their need to ensure optimal treatment outcomes at lower cost.

Our upcoming 2013 Workers’ Compensation Drug Trend Report will discuss compounded medications and their impact on pharmacy spending in workers’ compensation in more detail. The report, to be published April 10, will also highlight other significant trends in the workers’ compensation pharmacy benefit.

Click here to read the full analysis.

On May 29, Sarah Randolph presented at a webinar hosted by IAIABC about this study. The slides are available for download here.

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