Study shows huge fiscal waste in the prescription medication industry

Oftentimes it is human nature to express a higher interest in something that is name brand, even though cheaper, generic versions may be equally effective. However, according to a recent study entitled "2011 Express Scripts Workers' Compensation Drug Trend Report," this type of mindset is resulting in an enormous amount of waste in the healthcare industry.

After the study's findings were recently released, illustrating a comprehensive look on where prescription-related spending is occurring. Interestingly, it is reported that more than $2 billion is wasted when physicians prescribe high-cost medication even though the same therapeutic value could be achieved through less expensive alternatives.

A press release surrounding the study suggests that many doctors have developed these sort of habits and ingrained them into everyday practice. The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that many patients requiring medication request the name brand.

Moreover, it is reported that $107 million is wasted because of issues related to out-of-network pharmacies and external billing.

"By applying clinical evidence and behavioral science insights to workers' compensation, we can save billions of dollars and improve health outcomes," said Express Scripts pharmacist, Tim Pokorney. "It is critical for employers and payers to get a handle on the costs associated with workers' compensation prescriptions, and we have the solutions to help them to do so, leading to better outcomes for injured workers with minimal disruption."

Considering these statistics, it would be wise for facility managers to reduce money wasted in the prescription process to partner with a medical technology consulting company that can implement electronic medical records and eprescribing software.

These professionals can help a practice keep closer tabs on the prescription habits of its physicians to ensure that efficiencies are maximized by providing more cost-effective generic medication when appropriate.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.