The management of patients who suffer from chronic pain or other diagnoses requiring treatment with scheduled medications as part of their healthcare plan is evolving. Many of the changes in the way we approach monitoring these patients over the last decade have been adopted to help combat a prescription drug abuse epidemic.
The death rate from prescription drug overdose has more than tripled over the last decade. Initiation of comprehensive protocols to assess adherence/compliance has become the standard of care in treating patients receiving scheduled medications.
As stated in the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians Opioid Guidelines:
“Adherence monitoring is crucial to avoid abuse of the drugs and at the same time to encourage appropriate use, and involves the initiation of drug screening, pill counts and patient care agreements, with the motto of ‘trust but VERIFY’.”