The market for pain management drugs and devices was valued at $35.4 billion in 2012. Total market valued is expected to reach $41.5 billion in 2017 after increasing at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 3.2%, while opiate abuse is now a widespread national epidemic
As a physician:
- You have a legal and ethical responsibility to uphold the law and to help protect society from drug abuse.
- You have a professional responsibility to prescribe controlled substances appropriately, guarding against abuse while ensuring that your patients have medication available when they need it.
- You have a personal responsibility to protect your practice from becoming an easy target for drug diversion.
Physicians concerned about risk-mitigation are expressing interest in our Tox Screening program
Tox Testing Defined
- A toxicology screen is used to determine if you’ve used certain legal or illegal drugs
- The results can show the presence of one specific drug or a variety of drugs at once
- Further testing may be needed to determine the exact amount of a particular drug in the body and to confirm the results
- The test is often ordered to determine if someone has taken drugs that could endanger their health
- Doctors perform a toxicology screen if they suspect a person is taking illegal drugs
Who Should be Tested?
- All new Patients
- Any Patient prescribed pain meds
- Any surgery Patient
- Any Patient asking for pain med for any reason
- Any Patient asking for a pain med refill
How to Address Tox Screening With Your Patient
- Medication monitoring screening is a widely available and familiar method for monitoring opioid use in chronic pain patients and patients on controlled medications.
- The monitoring test will guarantee that you are taking the drugs prescribed and only those medications. If you were to stray from the medications prescribed, you could be placing your health at risk.
- Narcotic medications can have significant cross-reactions with other medications. A medication monitoring test may prevent an unnecessary adverse event.
- Your physician is ordering a medication monitoring test to protect his medical license. Physicians face significant risks by prescribing controlled medications. Patients may divert their prescriptions, take too much, or combine them with illicit substances, etc. These risks are reduced by physicians subjecting patients to medication monitoring testing, pill counts and pain agreements.
- Pain management safeguards are necessary in this day and age to protect both the patient and provider
- Ensuring compliance with a narcotic treatment program or controlled medications will allow better outcomes for the patients along with implementing appropriate safeguards for the doctor and his or her practice.
The overlying theme for why it is appropriate to drug test patients in one word is: PROTECTION