Even with today’s decreased payrolls and difficulties in the job market, businesses still spend a lot of money on Workers Compensation. And a growing contributor to unnecessary healthcare and workers comp costs is the increasingly widespread abuse of prescription painkillers.
The abuse of painkillers is an escalating problem. First, there are immediate health concerns. Prescription overdoses killed nearly 15,000 people in the U.S. in 2010, more than three times the amount killed by overdoses in 1999. And nearly half a million emergency department visits in 2009 were due to people misusing or abusing prescription painkillers.
In terms of insurance claims and costs, prescription drugs have a larger influence as time goes on. In the first year or two of a claim, prescriptions represents only 2-3 percent of all workers’ comp costs. For claims stretching out six to eight years, prescription drugs represent 15-20 percent of all costs.
Backed by a U.S. campaign to slow abuse of prescription painkillers, drugmakers are creating new forms of medicines that don’t lead to misuse and new products that treat dependency. If all goes well it could change the face of the $9.4 billion dollar market.
The new prescription painkillers aim to decrease the risk of dependence and addiction. One blocks opiate receptors in the nervous system, potentially lessening addict dependence. Another created an experimental medicine designed to enter the brain slowly, reducing the euphoria that can lead to addiction. Other drug companies are creating crush-resistant versions that make them less valuable to non-prescription users.
Talk to Sinclair Risk & Financial Management about your Workers Compensation needs and we’ll navigate you through the steps to control costs and get the right insurance product for your business. Contact us today. (877) 602-2305