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Pharmaceuticals and Worker Productivity Loss: A Critical Review of the Literature

Many chronic illnesses that affect the working population can cause losses in productivity. The extent to which these productivity losses can be reduced by pharmacological treatment is of particular interest to employers, who bear the productivity costs and subsidize the cost of employees' health care. In the past several years, the effects of pharmaceuticals on productivity losses have been tested in numerous studies, including randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. This article summarized and critically reviewed these studies and, where appropriate, provided quantitative overviews. The evidence is very good for about a dozen drug classes that pharmaceuticals reduce productivity losses caused by respiratory illnesses (i.e., asthma, allergic disorders, bronchitis, upper respiratory infections, and influenza) diabetes, depression, dysmenorrhea, and migraine. The article also discussed the calculation of productivity costs, reductions in which may partially or completely offset the costs of treatment. This information should be helpful to occupational physicians who are increasingly providing recommendations on employer benefit plan designs and pharmaceutical benefits.

Due to copyright issues, this study is only available through the JOEM website.

Newsletter Volume

E.V.I.dently August 2014

NPC MessageHealth and Productivity Go Hand in HandClosely tied to the productivity and prosperity of our nation is the health and safety of its...
Blog Post

#TBT: Consumer-Directed Health Plans & Employers’ Decision-Making

As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with previous...
Newsletter Volume

E.V.I.dently June 2014

Message from NPCValue-Based Insurance Design and Specialty Medications: Shifting the Focus from “How Much” We Spend to “How Well” We SpendAccess to...
Blog Post

#TBT: Ethnic Disparities in the Burden and Treatment of Asthma

As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with previous...
Press Release

NPC Welcomes Dr. Bryan Luce as PCORI Chief Science Officer

WASHINGTON, DC (April 24, 2013) The National Pharmaceutical Council today welcomed the news that the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (...
Press Release

Study Quantifies Impact of Pharmaceuticals on Enhanced Productivity

(WASHINGTON, DC, August 1, 2012)–The costs to employers of chronic health conditions on employee productivity are well documented, but few studies...
Press Release

New Survey Shows Employers Eyeing CER, PCORI for Health Information

Washington, DC, June 22, 2011--Employers are aware of comparative effectiveness research (CER) and its potential to answer critical questions about...
Press Release

Study Sheds New Light on the Impact of Medication Adherence, Multiple Chronic Diseases and Health Risks in the Workplace

(Chicago -- June 16, 2011) A new study suggests that while medication adherence is a critical element in reducing the impact of illness, employers...
Commentary and Testimony Page

The Risks of Standardized Health Care

Think about the last time you visited a medical office. Even at a specialist’s office, chances are that each person waiting for his or her name to be...
Commentary and Testimony Page

Framework Helps ACOs Leverage Pharmaceuticals to Realize Quality, Cost Goals

Medications are more than an item on the balance sheet for health care providers. Pharmaceuticals offer a route to manage costs while achieving...
Commentary and Testimony Page

Comparative Effectiveness Research and the Changing Health Care Landscape

This content appeared in the January 2, 2012 print edition of Chain Drug Review. In the span of just one year, the health care landscape has...
Commentary and Testimony Page

Linking Chronic Conditions to Medication Adherence and Productivity

It's no secret that chronic disease is the major driver of health care costs in the United States, accounting for two-thirds of the rise in health...
YouTube Videos

Can We Bring Clarity, Consistency and Transparency to Payer Coverage Decisions?

There is a bit of a "black box" around the formulary decision-making process. As a result, decisions about treatment access are often unpredictable...
YouTube Videos

Chronic Health Conditions & Individual Treatment Effects

Dr. Ken Thorpe, chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, explains that one of the biggest health care challenges is managing patients...
YouTube Videos

PCORI Outlines Efforts to Engage Patients

Dr. Rachael Fleurence, Scientist,Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, outlines the many ways heragency is engaging patients and other...
YouTube Videos

How Do Payers Consider Individual Treatment Effects?

Dr. Robert Epstein, former chief medical officer and senior vice president of medical affairs at Medco Health, explains that heterogeneity, or...
Blog Post

#TBT: Consumer-Directed Health Plans & Employers’ Decision-Making

As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with previous...
Blog Post

#TBT: Ethnic Disparities in the Burden and Treatment of Asthma

As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with previous...
Blog Post

#TBT: Bob Costas, Presenteeism and Its Impact on Productivity

As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a research topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with previous...
Blog Post

NPC Webinar: Can We Bring Clarity, Consistency and Transparency to Payer Coverage Decisions?

Why are some treatments covered under a health care plan, while other treatments are not? How do payers evaluate the information needed to make...

Research

The Myth of Average: Why Individual Patient Differences Matter

Within today’s health care environment, so much of t

Transparency in Evidence Evaluation and Formulary Decision-Making

Although the type of evidence required to make healt

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Commentary & Testimony