New Tools for Optimizing the Prescribing, Managing and Monitoring of Opioids

Author: Leon Reyfman, M.D., FIPP, RpH, CEO, Advanced Clinical Laboratory Solutions (ACLS)

Over two million people in the U.S. suffer from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 47,055 die from drug overdoses every year.

Given the persistent and evolving introduction of new and highly dangerous drugs in communities, drug testing as a primary prevention, diagnostic and monitoring tool can identify the presence or absence of drugs of abuse or therapeutic agents in multiple settings. Making lab testing more affordable and available across communities is essential for preventing drug abuse – and saving lives.

Many physicians who screen with basic drug confirmation tests should consider more effective screening tools, such as toxicology services and other advanced solutions.

Toxicology is far superior for monitoring chronic pain patients. A toxicology lab can provide more accurate results and more valuable insights. Not only does our medical research, quality and expedient testing exceed current standards of clinical toxicology, but we also provide clients with the highest toxicology and clinical testing in the industry, including drug testing of urine and oral fluids, and pharmacogenetics for personalized prescribing.

Because we are committed to being at the forefront of innovation in the marketplace, in addition to our exceptional toxicology services, we now offer OpiSafe, a comprehensive platform of solutions that perform risk stratification for each patient on the basis of morphine equivalent dosing ranges, pain and function scores, opioid misuse risk scores and automated Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) checks.

OpiSafe provides valuable guidance on the safe use of opioids for treating pain more effectively. In fact, a number of physicians report that OpiSafe has become an integral part of their practices, saving them time and creating peace of mind.

OpiSafe measures pain, function, opioid misuse risk, co-morbid depression, anxiety and sleep disorders, all via a simple tandem app called OpiSafe Teamwork. Key features include risk assessments, guideline adherence, automated PDMP checks with almost instant reports, and patient monitoring in-office and out-of-office. The solution also engages patients through smartphone and web-based platforms, generating patient feedback on an ongoing basis.

Now, more than ever, clinicians must educate themselves on the most optimal way to treat pain safely and effectively, and communicate with patients about the risks and benefits of opioid therapy for chronic pain.

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