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Wound dressings have a significant impact on total cost of care


Patching up wounds is one of the more basic services provided by healthcare, and the need for wound dressings is increasing.

The problem, according to a new OptumRx report , is that manufacturers have launched new brand-name prescription wound dressings that have similar ingredients when compared to over-the-counter and generic products – and the brand-name options are priced far higher than the alternatives. In some cases, they cost up to 125 times more.

This is significant, since chronic wounds affect about 6.5 million people, resulting in annual treatment costs of up to $25 billion. Depending on plan design, wound dressing formulations are often considered medical devices , not medications.

Several factors are driving the increased need for wound care, including: the rising incidence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and autoimmune disorders; the number of surgical procedures expected to rise over time; and an increased focus on reducing hospital stays.


Currently, there are hundreds of different prescription and over-the-counter wound dressing options on the market. These can contain multiple combinations of antiseptic, antimicrobial and protective barrier compounds.What’s notable is that high-cost prescription wound dressings have not demonstrated consistent clinical benefit compared to those with similar active ingredients available […]

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