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New Lockton Report Analyzes Prescription Drug Abuse and Its Effect on Workers' Compensation
Date:9/20/2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- There has never been a more damaging impact on the cost of workers' compensation claims from a single issue than the abuse of opioid prescriptions for the management of chronic pain, according to a new report from Lockton.

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The report—titled Opioids Wreak Havoc on Workers' Compensation Costs—seeks to update employers on current trends related to the growing issue of prescription drug abuse and how it affects the cost. Some insights from the report include:

  • An estimated 55 to 86 percent of all claimants are receiving opioids for chronic pain relief.
  • Pharmacy is growing disproportionately to total medical costs. Pharmacy only accounted for about two percent of all medical costs n 1990. Today, on average, workers' compensation prescription drugs account for 19 percent of the total medical spend.
  • Opioids account for an average of 25 percent of the overall pharmacy spend, and 35 percent (or more) for claims more than three years old.

"The aggressive prescribing of opioids to treat chronic pain is a relatively new phenomenon in workers' compensation's 100-year history; an epidemic affecting all of society and workers' compensation in particular," wrote Keith Rosenblum, senior risk consultant for Lockton.

He added, "Employers simpl
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SOURCE Lockton
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