Dominion Diagnostics Joins Fight in Reducing Unintentional Drug Poisoning Deaths and Hospitalization Costs

April 15, 2010

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I., April 15 /PRNewswire/ – Unintentional poisoning deaths have dramatically increased over the last decade to become the second leading cause of injury deaths in the United States. Along with this trend, the number of Emergency Room visits and resulting hospitalizations has also increased. According to a recent study conducted by the West Virginia School of Medicine, hospitalizations for poisonings from overdoses of prescription opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers have increased 65%. The largest increase in hospitalizations was caused by the commonly prescribed drug class of benzodiazepines.

In its effort to play a leading role in reducing hospitalization costs and drug poisoning deaths, Dominion Diagnostics is proud to announce a highly specific quantitative benzodiazepine assay performed by Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). In its 13 years of providing urine drug monitoring results to clients nationwide, Dominion’s laboratory findings are consistent with these reported increases in hospitalizations for poisonings, identifying benzodiazepines as the second leading drug class for prescription non-adherence, following opioids.

In 2006, Dominion was the first specialty laboratory to introduce quantitative assays for codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, oxymorphone and fentanyl by UPLC-MS/MS, the highest analytical standard in urine drug monitoring due to its increased sensitivity, specificity, and throughput. Detection of over 35 individual analytes and their metabolites in over 10 additional drug classes by UPLC-MS/MS, including benzodiazepines, followed at Dominion between 2007 and 2009.

Today, Dominion’s benzodiazepine assay is the most extensive profile performed for this drug class by any specialized laboratory in the industry. By identifying specific analytes and/or their metabolites in the commonly prescribed benzodiazepine class, this assay provides practitioners the ability to more accurately and quickly identify patients who may be non-adherent to current prescription regimens or are reluctant to reveal prescriptions from other practitioners. As a result, Dominion’s comprehensive testing for benzodiazepines can help reduce hospitalizations and physician liability resulting from unintentional drug poisonings.

“In today’s healthcare climate, we all need to be concerned with patient safety and with controlling medical costs,” stated Dominion’s President, David M. Siwicki, M.D. “Dominion Diagnostics continues to lead the industry in providing comprehensive testing and results quickly, accurately, and in the most cost-effective manner to patients.”

In the United States, benzodiazepines are classified as Schedule IV medications under the Controlled Substances Act. Various types and dosages of benzodiazepines are prescribed for their anxiety relief, muscle relaxant, anti-convulsant, and amnesiatic properties. As one of the strongest sedative classes, benzodiazepines have long been targeted for a high potential of abuse (especially in combination with other depressant substances) and continue to be a leading concern for all practitioners.

“One of our main goals at Dominion is to continually design new assays that improve treatment outcomes for all patients on controlled medications by providing practitioners with the specific information they need to appropriately and accurately address patient care,” commented Matthew Woodcock, Ph.D., Director of Research & Development at Dominion. “Our research team is dedicated to providing quality monitoring through our state-of-the-art technology, our innovative robotic liquid handling systems and our Scientifically Accurate Medication Monitoring (SAMM)(TM) reporting engine. We’re continually researching ways to improve the information we provide our clients.”


Dominion Diagnostics is the premier provider of comprehensive clinical quantitative urine drug testing, medication monitoring and support services nationwide. For over 13 years, Dominion has provided services to thousands of clients in a variety of medical specialties, including Pain Medicine, Primary Care, Addiction Treatment, Behavioral Health, Psychiatry and Hospital Systems. Dominion is supported by a world-class team that shares a commitment to clinical and operational excellence. For more information about Dominion, please visit www.dominiondiagnostics.com.

    Media Contact:
    Julie K Lenahan, Director of Marketing at Dominion Diagnostics,
     +1-401-667-0876, jlenahan@dominiondiagnostics.com

SOURCE Dominion Diagnostics

Source: newswire

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