Connecticut Consumers Pay More for Physician-Dispensed Drugs, WCRI Reports

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According to a media release by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), physician-dispensed drug prices in Connecticut are 30-60 percent higher than pharmacy prices. Connecticut medical malpractice firm The Berkowitz Law Firm LLC comments on the release which was published Nov. 13.

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We can see paying a little extra since pharmacies may have contracts to purchase drugs at wholesale prices, but a 30-74 percent jump seems absurd.

According to a Nov. 13 media release by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), consumers in the state of Connecticut pay anywhere from 30-60 percent more for physician-dispensed drugs than they do for drugs purchased at a pharmacy.

“In many states across the country, policymakers are debating whether doctors should be paid significantly more than pharmacies for dispensing the same drug,” said Dr. Richard Victor, WCRI’s executive director. “Policymakers in Connecticut adopted new rules, effective July 15, 2012, to narrow the price difference, and the research finds, based on the early post-reform data, the new regulations did not discourage physicians from continuing to dispense these drugs at lower prices, which was a concern.”*

According to the study, consumers pay 30-74 percent more for commonly prescribed drugs like Vicodin and ibuprofen (Motrin) when they are physician-dispensed. The study also found that consumers pay much more for prescriptions for common drugs with over-the-counter strengths (e.g. 500 milligrams of acetaminophen) when they get them from their doctors compared to what they would pay if they purchased them at a local pharmacy without a prescription.

“Most consumers are unaware that they could get the same drugs at their local pharmacies for much less,” said Russell Berkowitz of The Berkowitz Law Firm LLC. “We can see paying a little extra since pharmacies may have contracts to purchase drugs at wholesale prices, but a 30-74 percent jump seems absurd.”

According to an article published on Nov. 13 by the New Haven Register, Connecticut is one of 18 states that has made changes to reimbursement rules over the last ten years since the higher costs of physician-dispensed drugs became a public concern.

About The Berkowitz Law Firm LLC

The Berkowitz Law Firm LLC is a Connecticut-based medical malpractice law firm that represents individuals and families affected by serious injury and loss. The attorneys at the firm stay up-to-date on medical malpractice topics in the state and advocate for high quality patient care. For more information about the firm, please visit http://www.berkowitzlawfirm.com.

Sources:
*http://www.wcrinet.org/media_release_11.13.14_ct_pd_2014.html
**http://www.nhregister.com/health/20141113/study-doctor-dispensed-drug-prices-top-pharmacies-in-connecticut

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Russ Berkowitz
The Berkowitz Law Firm LLC
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