Navigation Links
New Evidence Points to a "Profits Over Efficacy" Approach to Drug Testing
Date:2/15/2012

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 PainExhibit.com.  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. GiiResearch.com: 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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/9/2016)... Japan , Dec. 9, 2016 Mitsubishi ... ; President & Representative Director, CEO: Dr. Masayuki ... amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) given edaravone intravenously in 10-14 ... loss as measured by the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised ... International Symposium on ALS/MND in Dublin, ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... DUBLIN , Dec 9, 2016 Research ... Vaccines Market 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... The global travel vaccines market ... The report covers the present scenario and the growth ... the market size, the report considers the revenue generated from the ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... Dec. 9, 2016  Forge Therapeutics, Inc. today ... Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) to advance ... the treatment of bacterial infections including those caused ... as an attractive antibacterial target for more than ... suitable chemical starting points has hampered its progress. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Groth Family Insurance, a Washington-based firm offering ... a charity drive to support the family of Cindy Hendrickson, a local mother ... On October 29th of this year, Cindy Hendrickson swerved to avoid an oncoming ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... Ohio (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... of miniature, folded, pharmaceutical inserts and outserts. As a means of expanding ... This addition will enable Flottman to individually code professional inserts (PIs) and patient ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... Yorktown Heights, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) is recommending the film Whispering ... 29 states and the District of Columbia as an education tool in the war ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... An inventor ... amputees to safely ride all types of amusement park rides. , The patent-pending SAFETY ... unit is easy to use and could be set up in a matter of ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... Pierre Hotel in New York, NY, on December 3rd, to benefit Holy Name ... attended the annual event, which raised over $1 million - the largest event ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):