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Increases in the cost and frequency of physician-dispensed medications continue to negatively impact the Florida workers’ compensation system, according to a new 17-state study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). The study, Prescription Benchmarks for Florida, 2nd Edition, compares the cost, price, and utilization of prescription drugs in Florida with 16 other states: California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

WCRI based the study on claims with more than seven days of lost time that had injuries occurring between October 2006 and September 2007 and prescriptions filled through March 2008 for interstate comparisons. The report found that the average payment per claim for prescription drugs in Florida’s workers’ compensation system was $536. That was 45 percent higher than the median of the other states in the study. Over a 2-year period (2005/2006 and 2007/2008), the average cost per claim for prescription drugs in Florida increased 14 percent. By contrast, prescription costs per claim were fairly stable in most of the other states studied over the same period.

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