PMSI Analyzes Medication Utilization Among High-Risk Injured Workers


Retrospective Medication Review Identifies,  Assesses and Notifies on Inappropriate Drug Utilization  

Tampa, Florida  (CompNewsNetwork) - PMSI, the nation's largest provider of pharmacy and specialty products and services centric to workers' compensation, today announced findings revealing the effectiveness of their retrospective medication review program in reducing inappropriate drug utilization among high-risk injured workers. The PMSI Medication Review Outcomes Study provides a retrospective evaluation of over 2,000 injured workers with drug therapy problems related to multiple prescribers, duplicate therapies, inaccurate doses and inappropriate duration of therapy detected by the Arkos Risk Management™ System.     

 "Inappropriate medication utilization continues to be a major concern in the care of injured workers,” commented Dr. Maria Sciame, Director of Clinical Services, PMSI. "At the same time, exposure to liability and subsequent litigation is of considerable importance for payors. We can mitigate risk by identifying and alerting prescribing physicians on possible inappropriate prescription usage. The result not only reduces cost and risk for payors, but also improves care for injured workers.  Because of our commitment to quality care, we include Arkos as part of our standard utilization management program.”   

 The PMSI Medication Review Outcomes Study revealed important trends in high-risk injured workers:

 -         In nearly 23% of the cases studied, injured workers were treated by multiple prescribers, potentially leading to patient confusion, undesirable drug interactions, therapeutic duplications, additive adverse effects and possible abuse situations.

 -         Therapeutic duplication occurred in 28% of the injured workers studied. 

-         Nearly 7% of injured workers studied utilized doses of acetaminophen higher than the recommended maximum daily dosage (4,000 mg), placing them at risk of liver damage.  

-         Over 17% of the injured workers in the study group overused prescriptions by treating chronic pain with medication intended for short–term use.  

These issues are addressed through PMSI's Arkos Risk Management System, a population-based, retrospective evaluation of in- and out-of-network pharmacy transactions. Arkos identifies potential high-risk medication usage, alerting PMSI clinical pharmacists to take a closer look and directly intervene with prescribing physicians. This is accomplished through advisories sent out to prescribers alerting them of the identified concerns.

 The study shows that as a result of interventions, prescribers eliminated therapeutic duplications and overuse of medications 33% of the time and doses were reduced 20.5% of the time. In addition, the number of prescribers was reduced 20.7% of the time. Data findings indicate that the use of PMSI's retrospective medication utilization review program, combined with clinical pharmacist intervention, yields measurable savings, on average $1,100 to $1,500 per injured worker, per year for cases experiencing successful resolution of their medication concerns. In total, an annual program savings of $1.1 million was achieved in the population studied. Payors realized an average savings of 18.3% on the total drug spend for each of the 896 injured workers with successfully resolved medication problems.

 The benefit of the Arkos Risk Management System lies primarily in its ability to avoid unnecessary medical expenditures, mitigate risk and improve injured worker care by facilitating conversion to more appropriate medication therapy. "This is only the tip of the iceberg,” Sciame concluded. "This study only represents direct savings, a small portion of the total savings achievable through PMSI's program. Even greater savings can be realized from the avoidance of hospitalizations, emergency room care and additional medical visits, which often result from medication errors and adverse events.”

 For the complete report, PMSI's Medication Review Outcomes Study, visit Or, to schedule an interview with Maria Sciame to review and discuss the findings, contact Maureen Landers at 212.292.8560, ext. 04 or

 About PMSI

PMSI—The Only Solution You Need. Founded in 1976, today PMSI is the nation's largest provider of specialty managed care services and products for workers' compensation and catastrophically injured populations. PMSI provides an integrated portfolio of services in Pharmacy, Medicare Set-Asides, Medical Services and Equipment, and Clinical Services that promote quality care for injured workers while helping clients contain costs and control utilization. PMSI is a subsidiary of AmerisourceBergen Corporation—ranked # 28 in the Fortune 500 list and among the Top 5 in the Pharmaceuticals Service Providers category.

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