Labor costs for pharmacy costs continued to decline during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a steady decline in opioid use, according to data published Wednesday by CompPharma LLC.
Maggie Valley, North Carolina-based pharmacy benefit consulting firm surveyed those who handle prescriptions for injured workers and found that despite reports of increased opioid use among co-workers during the covid-19 year, respondents saw opioid spending fall to 17% of total drug spending , which was about $ 3 billion by 2020.
Expenditure on opioid workers has fallen by more than 62% since 2016, according to data collected through CompPharma's surveys, which also showed that total labor costs for pharmacies have fallen by 38% over the past decade. the reduction in part to less use of opioids and the more medications needed to manage opioid side effects. Other factors mentioned were California's pharmacy fee schedule, a competitive PBM market and greater purchasing power that came from consolidation in the PBM industry, according to the statement.
Respondents, representing government funds, insurers, self-insured employers, guarantee funds and third-party administrators, identified other new issues as PBM consolidation leading to poor service, less innovation and differentiation. Pricing transparency, doctor's appointments and mail order pharmacies were other problems, according to the statement.