While nonuse does not necessarily indicate misuse, this information does "indicate that something needs to looked into further" by providers when detecting noncompliance among patients, said Harry Leider, MD, chief medical officer of Ameritox, a company that performs urine screenings, and one of the study investigators.
In terms of population groups, the study confirmed previously reported findings that inappropriate use of prescribed medication spans all demographic groups, although in this study, men were significantly more likely to have an illicit drug detected than females.
In these instances, monitoring could be a "critical tool" that physicians could use in combination with "clinical expertise, intuition and their knowledge of each patient's history" to talk with patients about the proper use of medications and ultimately improve outcomes for patients with chronic pain, Leider said.
So where else to look when it comes to appropriate medication use and compliance? NEHI and analysts from Avalere Health interviewed experts and examined 34 adherence programs in the field. The interviews revealed that adherence can be improved using solutions that fall within three pillars: