Tag Archives: methadone

Prescription drug updates may positively affect Medicare Set Aside

As part of our best business practices, we continually monitor RED BOOK®Average Wholesale Price (AWP) of the most common medications present in Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside (WCMSA) arrangements. This practice assists in identifying price changes positively affecting WCMSAs.

The month of February brought price drops of the following medications:

  • buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®) commonly prescribed for opioid dependence
  • diclofenac (Voltaren®) in multiple strengths used to treat pain
  • methadone (Dolophine®) commonly prescribed for detoxification or pain management
  • bupropion (Wellbutrin®) in multiple strengths prescribed for depression
  • clonazepam (Klonopin®) used for anxiety or panic disorders
  • quetiapine (Seroquel®) commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, depression or schizophrenia
  • tramadol (Ultram®) used to treat pain

The products in the following table have a reduced AWP, confirmed in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) WCMSA portal.

Product Name

NDC Code

Dosage Form

Strength

AWP Unit Price Reduction

Bupropion Hydrochloride

00781-5528-31

TER

150 mg

$3.92

Bupropion Hydrochloride

00781-5529-31

TER

300 mg

$2.24

Diclofenac Sodium

61145-0102-12

ECT

75 mg

$0.51

Buprenorphine Hydrochloride/Naloxone Hydrochloride

00406-8020-03

SL TAB

8/2 mg

$0.34

Clonazepam

00781-8018-05

TAB

0.5 mg

$0.11

Diclofenac Sodium

61145-0101-18

ECT

50 mg

$0.10

Quetiapine Fumarate

00904-6639-61

TAB

50 mg

$0.09

Tramadol Hydrochloride

68094-0017-61

TAB

50 mg

$0.06

Methadone Hydrochloride

66689-0898-40

TBS

40 mg

$0.04

Please note that RED BOOK AWP is subject to change and this pricing is subject to an increase or decrease in the future.

CMS uses the lowest AWP when reviewing a WCMSA. The lower price of these medications will immediately affect the prescription costs for WCMSAs (both present as well as prior WCMSA’s that have not settled and there is no CMS determination issued). We will contact our clients in reference to previously completed WCMSA’s where these medications have been prescribed. It is our recommendation that carriers, TPAs and claim handlers review cases to determine the benefit from decreased cost of these medications.

Optum will continue to keep the industry informed of changes in AWP pricing, in addition to when generic equivalents enter the market.