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Opioid prescriptions in comp sector continue to decline: Report

In the first six months of 2018, opioid prescriptions to injured workers declined six percentage points, according to a report released Tuesday by Optum Inc.’s Workers’ Compensation and Auto No-Fault program.

The Eden Prairie, Minnesota, pharmacy benefits management’s recent report falls in line with similar figures in workers comp that show dips in opioids in the comp sector, showing that as of June, 45.3% of injured workers in its database received opioids, down from 51.3% in January.

The total opioid spend in comp also saw a reduction from 28.6% of the drug spend to 25.4% in the first six months of 2018, according to the report. Opioids as a percentage of total prescriptions also dipped from 29.8% to 27.3%, the report states.

The report also provides a state-by-state analysis of changes in regulations that have helped reduce opioid prescriptions overall. The analysis includes prescription limits on first fills — four to seven days, depending on state — and the introduction of drug formularies in workers comp in recent years.