According to a recent letter written to the Baltimore Sun, millions of dollars are being spent on medication each year that do not need to be spent. This creates high costs for employers who have to provide these medications as part of the policy after a work injury.
The problem is simply that there are not enough regulations controlling what can be charged for the drugs. Rather than going to a pharmacy, which would be vastly cheaper, some doctors will work with drug repackaging companies, some of which are not even from Maryland. These companies will fill the same prescriptions, but they will charge inflated prices that are far over what would be charged at a pharmacy. These high costs are then covered, but workers who have been injured could get the same medication and the same results for far less.
The positive side of this letter is that it indicates that workers who have been injured on the job are getting the medications that they need. It is important for anyone who has been hurt in this manner to work with their employer so that their rights are not ignored and they are given both workers' compensation and proper medical treatment.
However, it is also important for workers to know what this should cost. Much of the inflated price is now being covered by the employers, but this drives up the cost of insurance for those employers. This cost could potentially impact workers at some point down the line, or it could simply impact the revenue for the company that offers them a job; if that company is losing money, those workers are also at risk.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Lawmakers must address prescription drug loophole in workers' comp cases" John A. Andryszak, Apr. 14, 2014