Pharmacy Expenditures in the Oregon
By Clifton Hindmarsh
A report recently completed by the Department of Consumer
and Business Services shows
that for injured workers generic drugs are prescribed more often compared
to total pharmacy prescriptions. In the first quarter 2000 period, generics
made up 60.8 percent of the prescriptions written for injured workers.
In contrast, generics in 1999 made up 47.1 percent of the prescriptions
written in the U.S. market, according to the Pharmaceutical Research and
Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). This is important because of the lower
cost of generic drugs compared to brand name drugs. Generic drugs represented
23.4 percent of the dollar expenditures compared to 12 percent in the
The report also analyzed pharmacy expenditures by drug name
and type of drug. Table 1 shows the top twenty drugs by expenditures for
the first quarter of 2000. The individual drug with the highest payments
was Oxycontin, a narcotic analgesic (antidepressant), with payments of
$339,000. This represents 10.6 percent of the total payments. Neurontin
was the second most prescribed drug with 7.3 percent of the total payments,
or $233,000. Of the top twenty, four are generic varieties, acetaminophen-hydrocodone
bitartrate, carisoprodol, acetaminophen-propoxyphene napsylate, and cyclobenzaprine
This analysis is the result of a model recently developed by the Department of Consumer and Business Services to describe the overall volume and components of medical expenditures within the Oregon workers' compensation system.
If you have questions about the information contained in this document, please contact by e-mail or phone: Pamela Lundsten, Research Analyst Supervisor, Research & Analysis Section, Information Management Division (503) 947-7336.
This web page was last revised:5/8/01