Researchers studied 335 injured workers aged an average of 49 years enrolled in the Drug Testing and Monitoring (DTM) service between March and May 2013. The categories measured included total medications, opioid analgesics, all controlled substances, and benzodiazepines. The researchers evaluated the patients in 90-day intervals (-90 days, 0 days, and +90 days), using baseline as the initial inconsistent test. Utilization was determined by supply of medication.
Most notably, the researchers determined more injured workers were filling their prescriptions at multiple pharmacies and/or had prescriptions for opioids written by multiple prescribers. These patients had a urine drug test result consistent with their current medication regimen. “By providing prescribers with additional information regarding unexpected drug test results, our drug testing and monitoring service has successfully reduced workers’ compensation payer spend on controlled substances and other medications,” Matthew Foster, PharmD, clinical pharmacy manager, said in a press release. “It also resulted in decreased therapeutic risks associated with chronic pain treatment for injured workers.”