Price of workers’ comp drugs too high

14 December, 2016

WorkCover WA has initiated a new initiative aimed at reducing the cost of common medications prescribed to employees on workers’ compensation claims.

WorkCover WA has identified that a substantial proportion of doctors are not prescribing eligible medications under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Where the PBS is not applied, the costs incurred for these drugs are generally higher.

While employees on workers’ compensation are entitled to PBS-subsidised medications, there’ s been a longstanding practice within the medical profession not to do so, resulting in more costly workers’ compensation claims.

WorkCover WA is encouraging medical practitioners to tick the PBS box on prescriptions they issue and for pharmacists to charge the applicable PBS rate upon presentation of the employee’s Medicare card.  It’s also recommended that insurers only reimburse pharmacists at the PBS rate.

With the higher costs of medications ultimately paid for by employers in the form of higher insurance premiums, employers are encouraged to talk to relevant employees about how medication is prescribed and, if appropriate, follow up with their insurer.

► Need help managing workers’ compensation claims? Contact the Workplace Consulting team now on 9365 7660 or email