According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11.5 million patients are misusing prescription opioids. To prevent and detect opioid misuse, the CDC, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and most states have issued prescribing guidelines that include requirements for regularly monitoring the 25 million American patients the CDC reports are prescribed opioid therapy (2018 Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes — United States. Surveillance Special Report 2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Aug. 31, 2018).
While research on the effectiveness of patient monitoring is still in its early stages, an independent health system report presented in April at the Executive War College Conference on Laboratory and Pathology Management showed healthcare providers were able to reduce opioid misuse in their practices by 40% when they followed prescribing guidelines that included regular prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) checks and toxicology testing. PDMP checks help healthcare providers know which controlled substances a patient received from the pharmacy while toxicology testing serves to verify what the patient is taking.
See related article: Ways to tackle the patient-monitoring process to reduce opioid misuse