Navigation Links
New Evidence Points to a "Profits Over Efficacy" Approach to Drug Testing

SACRAMENTO, California, February 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

It has become common for people with chronic pain who use opioid pain medication to be required to submit to random drug screens as a condition of treatment.  The rationale for the use of this billable procedure is to prevent and reduce opioid associated morbidity and mortality.  However, there remains insufficient evidence as to the efficacy of drug testing people with chronic pain.      

A new article entitled "Profit-Driven Drug Testing" published today in the Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy suggests that drug testing may have also been motivated by money.

"The paper takes a retrospective look at drug testing and presents Medicare data which shows a meteoric climb in drug screens," explains report author Mark Collen, a patient advocate.  "I was very surprised when I saw the numbers, which shows that between 2000 and 2009 the number of all Medicare laboratory services increased by about 48%, while the number of drug tests conducted in physicians' offices increased over 3,000,000%."  

The article provides evidence which suggests doctors made as much as $200 per screen and that Medicare identified and closed the drug testing profit center.  In addition, the paper looks at clinical laboratories whose primary business is to provide toxicology screens for people on opioid therapy and their alleged kickbacks to physicians.

Mark Collen is one of a few in the literature to question the use of drug screens for people with chronic pain.  In 2009, Collen wrote an article published in The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics entitled "Opioid Contracts and Random Drug Testing for People with Chronic Pain - Think Twice."  A second article followed in 2011 entitled "The Fourth Amendment and Random Drug Testing of People with Chronic Pain" published in the Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy.  While interviewing a physician for a possible third article, Mr. Collen was told that doctors would likely conduct fewer drug screens as a result of Medicare having changed their reimbursement rules.  

"He explained to me that physicians were charging Medicare around $225 per test but now could only bill them at $20, and that doctors would have less incentive to drug test their pain patients," says Collen.

Collen began to search for evidence to support or refute these claims and the results are published in the Commentary article. "The lesson remains the same," Collen says, "profit-driven healthcare will always be inferior to evidence-based medicine."  

According to the Institute of Medicine, chronic pain affects 116 million American adults and costs the US economy approximately $600 billion per year. Mark Collen is a patient advocate and founder of  His focus is on improving pain care and reducing the healthcare costs associated with chronic pain.

The Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy is published by Informa Healthcare.  

SOURCE Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Computed Tomography (CT) Systems - Technological Advances and Positive Clinical Trial Evidences to Drive the Market
2. New FREEDOM Data Adds to Compelling Evidence in Support of More Frequent Home Hemodialysis with NxStage System One
3. Pearl Therapeutics Presents New Scientific Evidence Supporting Versatility of Its Novel Cosuspension MDI Platform
4. "Off-Label" Use of Antipsychotic Drugs for Some Conditions Not Supported By Evidence
5. NxStage: NIH Study Published in New England Journal of Medicine Adds to Growing Body of Evidence in Support of More Frequent Hemodialysis
6. Newly-Published Colchicine Safety Data Provide First Evidence-Based Dosing Guidance to Avoid Potentially Serious Interactions With Commonly Prescribed Drugs
7. Elsevier CPM Resource Center to Integrate Evidence-Based Clinical Content Software at Providence Health & Services
8. AVAC Says Results of New PrEP Trials Provide Clear Evidence that Antiretroviral Drugs for Prevention Can Help End the AIDS Epidemic; Calls for Quick Action to Move Landmark HIV Prevention Results Toward Lifesaving Programs
9. Medco, United BioSource and Sanofi Signed Global Agreement to Improve Quality of Patient Care Through Real-World Evidence
10. Approved Biologic Therapies in Rheumatoid Arthritis Show Further Evidence of Efficacy and Reduction in Joint Damage at the 2011 European League Against Rheumatisms Congress
11. Latest Clinical Evidence Supports Promising Outlook for Low-Dose Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI)
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Países Bajos, November 26, 2015 ... terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado. ... inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el ... nuevo enfoque combina la inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica ... Clinical Cancer Research . --> Clinical ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... Cardiac Pacemaker Market Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac ... " report to their offering. ... Boston scientific and others. --> ... Medtronic, Biotronik, Boston scientific and others. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment ... to their offering. --> ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special promotion that will run ... purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive a complimentary head Check ... lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so we encourage all of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... Consistent with the Radiology Business ... Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some of the best 2015 ... Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session on a collaborative approach ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... Health-E-minds, an innovative online platform for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated ... This partnership will bridge the knowledge gap experienced by parents and bring advice ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Francisco, California (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... Janis Joplin Ann Arbor Michigan boxing style concert posters. This is one of Joplin's ... at the Canterbury House at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The According ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... CognisantMD and Cambridge ... imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, family physicians can now ... their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for redundant patient entry or ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):