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Drug Testing News
Patients Must Agree to Drug Test
Apr. 29, 2003
OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Intermountain Health Care is requiring
patients prescribed OxyContin to promise not to abuse the drug
-- and maybe even submit to drug tests to prove they haven't.
IHC is requiring patients, doctors and pharmacists to sign
agreements on the drug's use.
"When you look at the abuse nationwide, it's pretty severe,"
said Clark Jensen, IHC marketing director for the northern
urban region. "We are trying to make sure that we get the drug
into the hands of those who are really using it and who really
One patient, who was not identified, was quoted by the
Standard-Examiner as saying he felt as if he were being
accused of being a drug addict.
"I have very severe pain and use the medication in a
responsible manner," the Ogden resident said. "This letter
just makes me feel like I'm some kind of addict or drug head.
I'm in shock and a little upset by it."
The document issued to patients, titled IHC Health Plans
Medication Management Agreement, states that the patient will
agree and accept several conditions for the management of pain
medication prescribed by the doctor.
The patient must agree not to share, sell or trade the
medication. The patient also agrees not to attempt to get the
medication from any health-care provider other than the
Patients must agree that if they run out of the medication
early or lose, spill or misplace the medication, refills will
not be made.
They also must agree to use just one pharmacy, which they must
The patients must submit to blood or urine tests if required
by their doctor to determine if they are complying with the
OxyContin is a powerful time-released narcotic that eases
severe pain for about 12 hours. By crushing the tablet and
snorting or injecting it, abusers can get the full effect of
the drug at once rather than over a 12-hour span.
Jensen said OxyContin will not be monitored in cancer
patients. However, he said, that out of the top 100 users of
the drug, only six were cancer patients.