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Key Takeaways from a Recent National Safety Council Survey

Subsequent to the CDC’s new guidelines regarding the treatment of chronic pain, The National Safety Council (NSC) released its latest survey regarding doctor prescribing practices. Summarized below, the statistics

CDC Guidelines: Use non-opioid therapies first.
NSC Stats: 74% of doctors erroneously believe opioids (morphine, oxycodone) are the most effective way to treat pain.
The Missing Link: Research shows OTC pain meds (ibuprofen, acetaminophen) offer the most effective relief for acute pain.

CDC Guidelines: Do not use opioids for the routine treatment of chronic pain.
NSC Stats: 67% of doctors base there prescribing […]

By |May 15th, 2016|Drug Utilization Review, Medical Cost Containment, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on Key Takeaways from a Recent National Safety Council Survey

Prescription Drug Abuse Knows No Bounds

Earlier this month, the American public was shocked by the untimely death of iconic pop legend Prince. Though autopsy results remain unreported, media coverage alleges that Prince was struggling with a prescription pill addiction to Percocet, receiving treatment for an opioid overdose just days before his death.

This post is not to re-hash celebrity news from various gossip reports but rather to point out the depth and breadth of the prescription drug epidemic. In the past decade, Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, Brittany Murphy, Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson were […]

By |April 25th, 2016|Workers Compensation Payers|Comments Off on Prescription Drug Abuse Knows No Bounds
  • pharma cost management for large loss workers compensatino claims
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    Effective Pharma Management Can Help Offset Increases in Prescription Costs

Effective Pharma Management Can Help Offset Increases in Prescription Costs

2015 saw rising drug prices contributing to the growth in pharmacy spending for American workers’ compensation payers. Meanwhile, opioid and compound drug cost management continues to be an Achilles heel. An effective pharma cost management program can offset these costs by aiming to improve pain treatment regimens for injured workers.

Pharmacotherapy Review Can Reduce Opioid Spend

Opioids continue to be the costliest class of medications for occupational injuries. To combat the rise in opioid utilization in chronic pain treatment of injured workers, ANS introduced a face-to-face and highly proactive approach to […]

By |April 1st, 2016|Drug Utilization Review, Medical Cost Containment, Pharmaceutical Cost Containment, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on Effective Pharma Management Can Help Offset Increases in Prescription Costs

2016 WCRI Annual Issues & Research Conference

ANS recently attended the 2016 WCRI Annual Issues & Research Conference. The independent, not-for-profit institute studies and delivers objective information pertaining to public policy issues involving the workers’ comp system.

 

 

Conference Panel Highlights:

  • Opioid Prescribing in Workers’ Comp
    • Overview:
      Opioids are a societal problem – not just a workers’ comp issue, and it will take a decade to dig ourselves out. Guidelines are necessary to combat the growing trend.
    • Positive Trends:
      Prescription frequency varies widely by state, leading to revised prescribing guidelines in medical/workers’ comp communities. Retail pharmacies are no longer simply filling, but verifying […]

By |March 30th, 2016|Opioid Abuse, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on 2016 WCRI Annual Issues & Research Conference

FDA Focuses on Opioid Policy

The FDA has recently acknowledged its own need to establish a “far-reaching action plan to reassess the agency’s approach to opioid medications” in order to reduce the trend, deemed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as “a serious public health issue.” Now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., more Americans currently die from drug overdoses annually than motor vehicle crashes, the majority of which can be linked back to opioid prescription medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others.

National Attention

In addition […]

By |March 15th, 2016|Opioid Abuse, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on FDA Focuses on Opioid Policy
  • Pharmacotherapy review reduces costs and minimizes risks present by polypharmacy
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    Potential Workers Compensation Cost Drivers- Private Label Topicals

Potential Workers Compensation Cost Drivers- Private Label Topicals

We are seeing a trend in which doctors are increasingly prescribing private label topical drugs for the treatment of chronic pain. Awareness of these expensive and clinically unproven products is becoming increasingly important due to their potential safety and cost implications.

What are they?

Differing from custom compounds, private label topicals are similar to over-the-counter (OTC) topical products, with varying formulations that are not clinically tested for either safety or efficacy. Private-label topical analgesics are not recommended according to evidence-based guidelines and they are not approved by the FDA.

From a clinical perspective, private-label […]

By |February 29th, 2016|Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on Potential Workers Compensation Cost Drivers- Private Label Topicals

Innovating Clinical Intervention

The lack of communication among treating physicians for injured workers has been a known deficit in large loss claims for some time. Professional liability insurance companies have recently issued statements concerning the trend of incomplete patient information, missing tests and poor communication among physicians resulting in lengthier recoveries and costly medical treatment regimens.

Current clinical intervention programs embraced by the industry merely scratch the surface of success as they focus solely on a patient’s medication therapy. The reality is that in […]

By |February 15th, 2016|Drug Utilization Review, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on Innovating Clinical Intervention

6 Ways Pain Management is Mismanaged

There is a significant body of evidence suggesting that many Americans suffer from chronic pain and much of that pain is inadequately or ineffectively treated. Particularly in the case of chronic pain treatment via opioid analgesics, proper chronic pain management is critical in determining whether opioids are used in a manner that is both medically appropriate and in compliance with regulations. Pain management is an important area of patient care that is integral to the practice of medicine, yet so often it is mismanaged. Here we review six most […]

By |January 30th, 2016|Drug Utilization Review, Medical Cost Containment, Opioid Abuse, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on 6 Ways Pain Management is Mismanaged
  • ANS Pharmacotherapy Reivew fights the nation's opioid epidemic
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    Abuse Deterrent Opioids a New Era of Opioid Drug Development

Abuse Deterrent Opioids a New Era of Opioid Drug Development

The prevalence of opioid use and abuse has led to a new era of opioid drug development: Abuse deterrent (AD) opioids.

The goal?….

Maintain the efficacy of opioid formulations while improving their ability to deter abuse. Following guidelines developed by the FDA to categorize new opioid formulations, pharmaceutical companies are now on a quest to develop tomorrow’s safety net against opioid abuse.

How will the FDA be categorizing these new AD opioid formulations?

  1. Physical/chemical barriers
    Physical barriers that prevent the crushing, cutting, grating, grinding, or chewing of opioid formulations, alone or in combination […]

By |January 15th, 2016|Drug Utilization Review, Opioid Abuse, Pharmaceutical Industry|Comments Off on Abuse Deterrent Opioids a New Era of Opioid Drug Development
  • Steps to combat the opioid epidemic using ANS drug utilization review
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    Strategies to Reduce Patient Reliance on Opioids Postoperatively

Strategies to Reduce Patient Reliance on Opioids Postoperatively

Surgeons across the nation are increasing efforts to reduce their overall use of opioids for the long term treatment of chronic pain post-operatively. The driving force- Curtailing the opioid abuse epidemic, an unfortunate but growing trend.

Well-Documented Risks
An epidemic effecting 5 million Americans, half of all opioid-related overdose deaths in the U.S. have been linked to prescription drugs – not “street” or “recreational” drugs. Opioid use, even short term, is particularly problematic for patients with a history of substance abuse.

Changing Practices
Seeing the effects of this epidemic, many surgeons are taking […]

By |December 30th, 2015|Drug Utilization Review, Medical Cost Containment, Opioid Abuse, Pharmacotherapy Review|Comments Off on Strategies to Reduce Patient Reliance on Opioids Postoperatively