At the end of 2015, the 12th Annual Survey of Prescription Drug Management in Workers’ Comp, which tracks pharmacy costs for workers’ compensation, was released. The study showed that drug costs increased more than 6 percent compared to 2014.
This increase in drug costs is thought to be due to the increased price of medication but also due to the dramatic increase in the amount of prescriptions being written, particularly for opioids. In 2012, total spending on opioids in the US was just over $8 billion, and workers’ compensation paid for about 17 percent of that total.
That figure has grown dramatically and New Hampshire has one of the highest per capita rates of opioid prescription in the country. Not surprisingly, NH has one of the highest rates of addiction in the country. Last year more than 300 people died from drug related causes in New Hampshire, with the vast majority of those deaths stemming from opioid abuse.
The opioid epidemic in New Hampshire is very much in the spotlight, and this post will be the first in a series examining prescription drug addiction, strategies for managing prescriptions, and new legal approaches to combatting addiction.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Chris Potter under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.