High-impact drugs such as topicals and combo packs often see low utilization, but carry exponentially higher costs. While high costs and other challenges remain a concern, specialty drugs including biologics and biosimilars should be continually evaluated for potential benefits to injured workers, as they may provide relief that traditional therapies cannot. (Credit: Kenishirotie/Stock.adobe.com)

When we talk about addressing pharmacy issues in workers’ compensation programs, opioid concerns often appear at the top of the agenda, and while opioid management remains an important focus, it is not the only pharmacy trend we must watch closely.

High-impact categories such as topicals, compound kits, combo packs, and specialty medications represent proportionately low utilization, however, they can be associated with exponentially higher costs. In order to effectively manage clinically appropriate utilization and savings within these classes, it is important to recognize the trends associated with each of these cost drivers.

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