A Healthesystems publication

Winter 2016

Myth Busters: Physician Dispensing Edition

Some physicians argue that providing medications in-office benefits the patient. But the impact of this practice on workers’ compensation patient outcomes – and ultimately costs – tells a very different story.

MYTH:

Physician dispensing improves patient adherence to medication, improving medical outcomes

FACT:

Physician dispensing is associated with poorer clinical outcomes and more lost time

LOST TIME INCREASES WITH PHYSICIAN-DISPENSED DRUGS1,2

MYTH:

Physician dispensing ensures closer patient monitoring, improving patient safety

FACT:

Physician dispensing removes the safeguard of having licensed pharmacists act as a second line of defense to identify drug therapy risks such as:

MYTH:

Prices for physician-dispensed medications are equivalent to pharmacy-dispensed medications

FACT:

>90% of prescribers perceive their prices are equivalent to or lower than pharmacies.4 In reality, prices paid for physician-dispensed medications are often 60-300% higher for the same drugs dispensed by a retail pharmacy5

4 Reasons to Implement an Aggressive Physician-Dispensing Management Solution

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SOURCES

1 -Swedlow A, Gardner AB, Ireland J. CWCI Research Brief: Differences in outcomes for injured workers receiving physician-dispensed repackaged drugs in the California workers’ compensation system. Oakland, CA: California Workers’ Compensation Institute; February 2013
2 -White JA, Tao X, Artuso RD, et al. Effect of physician-dispensed medication on workers’ compensation claim outcomes in the state of Illinois. J Occup Environ Med. 2014;56(5)459-64
3 -Prescribing errors are the most common medication errors in primary care practices: Research Activities, February 2009, No. 374. February 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/feb09/0209RA5.html
4 -Munger MA, Ruble JH, Nelson SD, et al. National evaluation of prescriber drug dispensing. Pharmacotherapy. 2014; 34(10):1012-20
5 -Wang D. Physician Dispensing in Workers’ Compensation. WCRI. 2012: 12-24
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