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Will a Supreme Court Ruling on Generic Drugs Affect Workers’ Comp?

A ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court over generic drug deals could impact the cost of workers’ comp for employers and health insurance coverage for employees.

According to an article on BusinessInsurance.com, the high court is ruling on a case that involves whether or not it is legal for brand-name drug manufacturers to make payments to generic competitors for keeping cheapter medications off the market temporarily. The payments come from patent dispute settlements.

In March, the Federal Trade Commission argued before the Supreme Court that such payments violate antitrust laws and hurt consumers. On the flip side, the National Association of Manufacturers argued that a ruling favoring the FTC would discourage companies from doing expensive research and could damage the U.S. economy.

To reduce the overall cost of workers’ comp claims, it’s common practice for employers and their service providers to control the amounts spent on prescriptions by encouraging employees and doctors to use generics when available. Reports show that in 2012, 76% of drugs for workers’ comp claimants were generics, while there is an 80% price difference between generics and name brand drugs.