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Workers' Comp

Enlyte Releases Part 1 of Annual Pharmacy Solutions Drug Trends Report

April 26, 2023

Emerging trends include increases in retail and mail order prescriptions, high costs for topicals and migraine medications

SAN DIEGO – April 26, 2023 – Efforts to curtail overprescribing of opioids are seemingly having a positive impact in workers’ comp, while increases in costly topical and migraine medications are driving pharmacy spend.

These are some of the major findings in part 1 of Enlyte’s 2023 Annual Pharmacy Solutions Drug Trends Report. The goal of the full report, which will be issued in four segments over the next several months, is to provide an overall picture of drug utilization and cost trends in workers’ comp to equip industry professionals with useful insights for pharmacy management.

“Analyzing in-network prescribing patterns identifies much of what pharmacy benefits managers are able to capture for comparable trend analysis, but it doesn’t provide a complete picture,” said Nikki Wilson, PharmD, MBA, senior director, clinical pharmacy solutions “Through Enlyte’s extensive bill review technology, our series will take the data one step further for a more comprehensive view of the comp-prescribing landscape, which we’ll outline in subsequent reports.”

Among some of the findings from part 1 of this year’s report, which focuses on retail and mail-order transactions billed through Enlyte Pharmacy Solutions in 2022 compared to 2021, is the continued decline of opioid usage. Enlyte’s data shows overall opioid usage per claim dropped by 0.8 percent, while cost per claim decreased by 2.2 percent. Also sustained-release opioid utilization dropped as supported by prescribing guidelines, while opioid use disorder management medications saw an increase of 2.7 percent. 

Additionally, Enlyte data shows increases in overall retail and mail order prescription trends with utilization per claim growing by 2.6 percent, cost per claim climbing by 3.7 percent, and cost per script rising 1.1 percent. These increases could be attributed, in part, to a post-pandemic return to work for many, resulting in normalization of comp claim counts, Wilson said.

Part 1 of the report also shows that eight of the top 10 therapeutic classes ranked by cost in 2022 experienced increases in utilization per claim, with two classes rising by more than 10 percent. These include migraine medications, which saw a 17.7 percent jump in 2022, and topicals, which increased 11 percent. 

“Due to the costly nature of some of the medications within these categories, even proportionately low utilization can be associated with exponentially higher spend, and they represent areas to monitor closely moving forward,” said Wilson.

To access part 1 of Enlyte’s drug trend report, click here.

About Enlyte
Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Enlyte (www.enlyte.com) is the parent brand of Mitchell, Genex and Coventry, leaders in cost-containment technology, independent medical exams (IME), provider and specialty networks, case management services, pharmacy benefit and disability management. The Enlyte businesses align their joint industry expertise and advanced technology solutions in a combined organization of nearly 6,000 associates committed to simplifying and optimizing property, casualty and disability claims processes and services.