Small Number of Calif Comp Doctors Prescribe 80 Percent of Narcotics

A small percentage of doctors are responsible for prescribing close to 80% of Schedule II opioids for workers compensation injuries, according to unveiled research from the California Workers Compensation Institute (CWCI). reports that Schedule II opioids include “major narcotics LIKE oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine and methadone, which have limited FDA-approved medical uses and carry a high potential for addiction and abuse,” according to the CWCI. (WCxKit)
The study reports that 10% of doctors prescribing Schedule II opioids for injured California workers accounted for approximately 80% of all workers comp prescriptions for the drugs and 88% of the associated payments.
The CWCI reviewed 233,276 prescriptions dispensed to 16,890 California workers from the period of January 2005 to December 2009. It discovered that nearly half of all Schedule II opioid prescriptions went towards minor back injuries.
Yet the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine claims the use of these drugs is “typically not useful in the sub acute and chronic phases,” according to the. (WCxKit)
Previous CWCI research discovered the use of the drugs in California workers comp cases had ballooned, with their costs accounting for 3.8% of workers comp prescription drug costs in 2005 but growing to 23.6% four years later.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See for more information. or 860-553-6604.
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
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