Hamberger & Weiss LLP


CMS Pricing for Generic Lyrica (Pregabalin) Now Under $1.00 per Pill

Pregabalin, the generic form of Lyrica, has dropped in price enough that its inclusion in a WCMSA is no longer a barrier to settlement. Our readers will recall that we reported last year that CMS accepted the off-label use of Lyrica for pain or radiculopathy. At the time Lyrica was very expensive and a generic form of the drug was not available. That changed early this year with the availability of pregabalin, the generic form of Lyrica. However, at the time pregabalin became available, it cost nearly the same as Lyrica, and its inclusion in a WCMSA remained a barrier to settlement.

In the last month, the CMS pricing for pregabalin has dropped from over $8.00 per pill to under $1.00 per pill. In most cases, this means that inclusion of pregabalin should not be a barrier to settlement and we should be able to secure reasonable WCMSA approvals even when CMS includes this drug in the claimant’s WCMSA approval.

The Board’s new Drug Formulary permits use of Lyrica as a “Phase B” medication for use either upon acceptance or establishment of the claim or after 30 days from the date of injury. The Formulary lists Lyrica as a “second line” medication for injuries involving the back, CRPS, neck, or for treatment under the Non-Acute Pain Medical Treatment Guidelines. This means that the claimant must have an unsuccessful trial of a first line medication under the Medical Treatment Guidelines before trying Lyrica.

For any questions concerning the Drug Formulary, please contact our partner, Renee Heitger. For questions concerning the effect of pregabalin on a WCMSA please contact our partner Dan Bowers.

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