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Large-Scale Meta-Analysis Shows Age Not a Social Barrier to Opioid Use and Misuse
Date:5/17/2012

BALTIMORE, May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameritox (SM), the nation's leader in pain medication monitoring, announced today the presentation of a peer-reviewed scientific poster titled "Patterns of Drug Use in the Older Chronic Pain Population" at the American Pain Society Annual Meeting.  Ameritox researchers will share analysis from 725,679 urine drug monitoring samples from chronic pain patients aged 50 and older.  Data show almost one-third (31.8 percent) lacked the physician-prescribed pain medication in clinically sampled urine, and more than a quarter (28 percent) of patients' samples contained a prescription drug not prescribed by the doctor ordering the monitoring test.

Although the common perception is that America's prescription drug misuse concerns should focus on the young, data suggest that older pain patients have the same issues with potential non-adherence and medication misuse as the overall chronic-pain population. The Ameritox study suggests health professionals should put aside age as a predictive indicator in evaluating medication adherence. The study concludes that there is a significant potential for non-adherence in the older population.

"This study provides strong evidence that there are two major reasons to monitor medication use, using urine drug testing, in older patients with chronic pain. The first is that this population has a risk of medication misuse and illicit drug use that warrants attention," said Dr. Harry Leider, Chief Medical Officer of Ameritox. "The second is that a powerful medication was found in one in four older patients -- one that the doctor prescribing a pain medication was not aware of. This data provides a compelling rationale for routinely monitoring medication use in older patients on chronic opioids."

An additional factor that drives a portion of medication misuse in older patients is the use of multiple medications, prescribed by different physicians, for multiple chronic co
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SOURCE Ameritox
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