Ever-Changing Average Wholesale Pricing: Gabapentin


Ever-Changing AWP

By Dr. Nahla Rizkallah, PharmD, Senior Clinical Pharmacist

Allocation and pricing of medications within the Workers Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Arrangement (WCMSA) Part D is done so in accordance with the WCMSA Reference Guide as published by Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As a result, WCMSA medications are priced using the lowest average wholesale price (AWP) by the recognized proprietary source: Truven Health Analytics’ Red Book database. Further, generic medications are priced at the lowest non-repackaged AWP.  

AWP is considered the “sticker price” and rarely what is actually paid; it is used as a benchmark in drug pricing, and it is an ever-changing number!

ExamWorks Clinical Solutions continually monitors Red Book for real-time changes to AWP for medications used to treat the injured worker. It is noted that in April 2018, gabapentin, a first line agent for neuropathic pain, had a significant reduction in pricing; $2.28 per 600mg tablet to $0.27 per tablet which positively impacts Part D in the WCMSA. Gabapentin formulations now have several outliers: 300mg capsule $0.03, 400mg capsule $0.15 and 800mg tablet $0.34.

ExamWorks Clinical Solutions best practices in providing the most accurate and defensible MSA is to utilize technology and compendia databases which are recognized and supported by the CMS to support inclusion or exclusion of a drug under the Part D benefit. 

ExamWorks Clinical Solutions continues to monitor changes in medication pricing as well as availability of generic equivalents within the marketplace. For questions about medications, please contact Dr. Nahla Rizkallah, PharmD at 678-256-5086 or nahla.rizkallah@examworks-cs.com

About Nahla Rizkallah

Nahla D. Rizkallah, PharmD, MSCC, is Senior Clinical Pharmacist at ExamWorks Clinical Solutions (ECS). In this capacity, she performs quality assurance on pharmacy reports, prescription analysis to optimize drug therapy using evidence-based guidelines and national guidelines and participates in physician outreaches to implement the recommendations. She has 29 years of experience in various area of pharmacy practice including review of Part D medications on Medicare Set-Aside Allocations, Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, Pharmacy Manager for a closed mental health facility, Pharmacy Manager for the indigent, staff/clinical pharmacist for assisted-living facilities (ALFs), medication audits for ALFs, drug information center, clinical pathways, staff education, and surgical/medical pharmacy satellite at All Children’s Hospital. Dr. Rizkallah received her Doctorate from the University of Florida in Gainesville followed by a one-year American Society of Health-System Pharmacists accredited residency.