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PCI Testifies in Support of California Workers Comp Bill Affecting Pharmaceutical Drug Costs

Posted on 07 Jul 2011

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PCI testified on Wednesday in Sacramento in support of California AB 378, a workers compensation bill affecting pharmaceutical drug costs.

The Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee approved AB 378 following the testimony from ACIC, a PCI affiliate, urging it to close a loophole in the
pharmacy fee schedule regarding compound drugs. This bill was approved despite opposition from physician groups with self-interest in the current system.

Data says the PCI indicates alarming increases in workers compensation medical costs in the state, much of it driven by pharmacy costs and in particular the increasing use of compound drugs. These drugs are often “created” for the sole purpose of moving the prescription off of the pharmacy fee schedule.

AB 378 closes this loophole by subjecting these compound medications to a fee schedule just like FDA-approved medicines. The bill also adds pharmacy products to the list of medical services under the physician self-referral law, which prohibits physicians from referring patients for services where the physician has self-interest.