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Monday, October 13, 2014

Formularies in the News

Today's guest post is by The Hon. David Langham who is the Deputy Chief Judge of Compensation Claims for the Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims and Division of Administrative Hearings flojcc.blogspot.com
The California Workers' Compensation Institute (CWCI) released their study of controlling pharmaceuticals on October 6, 2014. They acknowledge that Washington and Texas have each implemented drug formularies, and have enjoyed cost savings as a result. The complete report is here. Their data helps with the question of whether a formulary might be part of the solution elsewhere, California in particular.
Formulary restrictions are not new. Texas enacted legislation in 2005 that led to the deployment of its formulary. The results have been remarkable. Prescription volume has dropped and the cost of "non-formulary drugs" decreased by 80% according to the Workers' Compensation Research Institute. I summarized some of the WCRI findings in a June 2014 post.
Another interesting point on closed formularies is the control they afford regarding specific medications or potentially types of medication. The Texas experience with Zohydro, and its recent approval by the FDA is discussed in a December 2013 post. Essentially, while others have wondered about the effect of "heroin in a pill," Texas simply did not add it to their formulary, and that is that. For a doctor to prescribe it in a Texas Comp case is not impossible, but it will require paperwork and...
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