Baltimore, MD – Ameritox recently announced that national experts in pain management held a Lunch Symposium during PAINWeek in Las Vegas to discuss best practices and consensus recommendations for urine drug monitoring of patients on long-term opioid therapy – the most current and comprehensive recommendations of their kind.
Intended to answer key questions that physicians may have about medication monitoring for chronic pain patients on long-term prescription regimens, the Symposium was led by national experts and co-authors of “Recommendations For Urine Drug Monitoring For Patients On Long-Term Opioid Therapy”:
- John F. Peppin, D.O., F.A.C.P., Associate Medical Director, Hospice of the Bluegrass;
- Steven D. Passik, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center;
- Paul J. Christo, M.D., M.B.A., Associate Professor, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director, Multidisciplinary Pain Fellowship;
- Daniel Bennett, M.D., Medical Director, Integrative Treatment Centers;
- Martin D. Cheatle, Ph.D., Director, Pain and Chemical Dependency Program, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
“Our goal in creating these consensus recommendations was to bring uniformity to the use of pain medication monitoring – an increasingly important tool for physicians, as they work to provide relief to patients suffering from chronic pain, while also protecting patient and public safety,” said Dr. Peppin. “As doctors who are trying to treat people with pain come under increasing scrutiny, practitioners are being required to monitor patients through Urine Drug Monitoring. These recommendations can help assure practitioners who may not feel completely comfortable with practical aspects of urine drug monitoring – not just pain doctors, but primary care physicians as well – that they are practicing within the bounds of what is recommended by experts after their careful review of the literature and discussion.”
The new recommendations provide guidance for physicians treating chronic pain patients, including which patients to test, how often to test, how to interpret results, and how to handle discrepancies based on specific results. The recommendations recognize that “all patients have a degree of risk for misuse or opioids and that monitoring is necessary to maintain patient safety.”
“It is clear from empirical studies, that clinicians cannot accurately detect non-adherence without urine drug screening,” said Dr. Passik. “But practitioners in the pain community still wonder who to test, how often to test and what to do with the results. These guidelines are an important step towards developing some consensus on the answers to these questions, based on expert opinion.”
Urine drug monitoring, or UDM, allows physicians to monitor the presence of pain medication in a patient’s system, helping them to ensure the patient receives the medication, while also helping to prevent potential misuse, abuse or diversion of powerful narcotics.
“UDM is a critical tool for physicians who treat patients with chronic pain, yet clinicians have been practicing without the benefit of consensus or best-practice national standards on very pragmatic issues,” said Dr. Harry Leider, chief medical officer of Ameritox. “This distinguished panel of experts – all of whom are national thought leaders and respected practitioners – will provide unique, insights into these new and important recommendations on the use of UDM.”
Development of these recommendations was supported by Ameritox, Inc. through an unrestricted grant.