April 29, 2005

Christine Baker

CHSWC Issues Report on Repackaged Drugs in Workers' Compensation System

OAKLAND -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC) has approved the release of a working paper entitled "Paying for Repackaged Drugs Under the California Workers' Compensation Official Medical Fee Schedule." The working paper was developed by RAND for CHSWC and the Division of Workers' Compensation.

The working paper discusses options that may be considered in establishing a fee schedule amount for repackaged drugs. These drugs have been purchased in bulk and repackaged into individual prescription sizes for dispensing in physicians' offices. Reimbursement for most pharmaceuticals are tied to the MediCal Pharmacy Fee Schedule. However, since repackaged drugs are not found in the MediCal Pharmacy database, they may be reimbursed at a higher rate.

This working paper is part of a broader medical treatment study that examines the cost and quality issues affecting medical care provided to injured workers in California and assesses strategies to improve the quality and efficiency of that care.

CHSWC, created by the workers' compensation reform legislation of 1993, is charged with overseeing the health and safety and workers' compensation systems in California and recommending administrative or legislative modifications to improve their operation. CHSWC was established to conduct a continuing examination of the workers' compensation system and of the state's activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational diseases and to examine those programs in other states.

The issue paper, as well as information about CHSWC, is available at, by writing to Christine Baker, CHSWC Executive Officer, 1515 Clay Street, Room 901, Oakland, California 94612, or by calling (510) 622-3959.