Majority of physicians fear another prescription drug crisis, finds new Quest Diagnostics health trends™ report


A New Quest Diagnostics health trends report that most primary care physicians fear chronic pain patients will resort to illicit drugs if they don't have access to prescription opiods. 

 Editor's Note: This publication's first appeared on Quest Diagnostic's website

SECAUCUS, N.J.Oct. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Most primary care physicians (62%) fear the opioid drug crisis will be traded for a new prescription drug crisis and nearly three quarters (72%) worry that chronic pain patients will turn to illicit drugs if they do not have access to prescription opioids, according to a new Health Trends™ report from Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX). Seventy percent of primary care physicians wish they had more training on how to taper their patients off opioids.

The new report, "Drug Misuse in America 2019: Physician Perspectives and Diagnostics Insights on the Evolving Drug Crisis," provides novel insights into physicians' concerns about patient misuse of prescription and other drugs, as compared with results of objective lab data: half of test results of patients prescribed an opioid or other controlled medication (51%) show signs of drug misuse and one in four (24%) show signs of potentially dangerous drug mixing.

The first-of-its kind report includes findings from a new online survey of 500 U.S. primary care physicians, conducted by The Harris Poll, and commissioned by Quest Diagnostics in consultation with Center on Addiction, about the use of controlled prescribed medications, such as opioids, amphetamines, and benzodiazepines, and illicit drugs. It juxtaposes the survey responses with an analysis of more than 4.4 million de-identified aggregated drug monitoring test results ordered by physicians for patients prescribed controlled medications and performed by Quest Diagnostics between 2011 and 2018. 

The intersection of these two data sets reveals, for the first time, the contrast between physician expectations about patient drug use and the evolution of the drug epidemic and actual patient behavior, as revealed by objective lab data, amid a national drug crisis that claimed an estimated 68,500 lives last year. Continue Reading >> 



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