BALTIMORE, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- AmeritoxSM, a national leader in medication monitoring solutions and its service PRIUM, a chronic pain medical management company specializing in workers' compensation, today announced the creation of a pilot program with Maryland-based Chesapeake Employers Insurance Company to identify specific cases of injured workers being prescribed significantly high dosages of opioids and to engage directly with their doctors to help create better patient outcomes.
The pilot program is a direct response to the troubling rate of opioid misuse, abuse and diversion in Maryland, where Ameritox is headquartered. In 2014, Ameritox clinical data identified Maryland among the nation's 10 worst states in two problem areas: "Non-prescribed drug found," which translates to a prescription opioid not prescribed to the patient being detected in the collected urine sample, and "one or more illicit drugs found" in patients' samples.
The goal of the pilot study is for PRIUM's physician consultants to engage with the physicians treating injured workers to achieve a meaningful reduction in the patients' morphine equivalent dosages (MED). Chesapeake is identifying patients and physicians for PRIUM. Independent clinical research has shown that gradually and responsibly decreasing an injured worker's MED amount can lead to overall better health and a return to work.
"Chesapeake's interest in this program reflects our focus on exploring innovative approaches to reducing the negative impact that opiate overuse and dependence is having on the lives of injured workers and their families," said Dr. Stephen Fisher, Director of Health Services for Chesapeake.
"All of these cases so far raise significant alarm – each shows potentially excessive opioid prescribing and use," said Michael Gavin, President of PRIUM. Gavin explains the extent of the problem: "For instance, most state regulations say that 60-100 MED per day is acceptable, but that anything over that greatly increases the risk of drug overdose. These cases all exceed 300 MED per day."
Preliminary findings of the Ameritox/PRIUM/Chesapeake pilot program were discussed in testimony before the Maryland Inter-Agency Heroin and Opioid Coordinating Council. The two Maryland-based companies came together after discussions that began while providing input to the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force, established by Governor Larry Hogan and headed by Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford.
"We're proud to be working with Chesapeake to help prevent human tragedy and make patients' lives better, and we're especially thankful for the attention of leaders in Maryland state government toward fighting the opioid epidemic," said Todd Gardner, Chief Operating Officer of Ameritox.
Ameritox helped pioneer the prescription drug monitoring necessary to address the national epidemic of prescription drug misuse, abuse, and diversion. Ameritox provides medical and business professionals with health care solutions that can help improve patient care and prevent tragedy. Ameritox, headquartered in Baltimore, Md., has a national footprint and laboratory facilities in Greensboro, N.C.
Contact: Lon Wagner
Director of Communications, Ameritox