Others cautioned that this recommendation is, at best, limited in what it can achieve, in part because the drug is relatively expensive.
The screening, which requires a urine sample, can flag whether a patient is actually taking the prescribed medication and is meant to spark a more truthful conversation between patient and doctor.
Doctors have turned to second-choice pain drugs and increased their use of local anesthetics such as lidocaine. But even those local anesthetics are now in short supply.
There's an effort underway to define and document patients' wishes before they are placed on a 'conveyor belt' of costly medical interventions.
The story highlights how America's drug development system can turn an old drug into a new one that treats relatively few - but often very desperate - patients.
Medicare does not require that older adults demonstrate improvement in order to receive ongoing therapy.
Advocates say what they need most is money, which would most likely come through the government spending bill that's due March 23. But they aren't holding their breath.
Analysts often describe the change as the most far-reaching attempt in the nation to control the medical costs driving up insurance premiums and government spending.
Depression affects up to 1 in 7 women during or after pregnancy. Among those who screen positive, 78 percent don't get mental health treatment.
Hospital pharmacists are working long hours to find alternatives, forcing nurses to administer second-choice drugs or deliver standard drugs differently.