Contact: Tiffany Tuetken (303) 570-4585, [email protected] Chuck Weber (262) 473-3018, [email protected]

Newswise — DENVER, March 21, 2017 – Drug diversion is a significant contributing factor in prescription pain medication misuse and deadly overdoses. A new oral fluid monitoring test, announced today by Cordant Health Solutions,, reports more detailed and actionable information to clinicians than urine drug tests, which can potentially improve therapy adherence, patient safety, and help to identify drug diversion.

The Cordant Comprehensive Oral fluid Rx Evaluation (CORE) system is the first patient‑monitoring screening test to use oral fluid samples to correlate oral fluid prescription pain medication levels to an expected level at steady-state range. Oral fluid collection is easy, fast and observable and is being embraced by pain management clinics, drug-rehabilitation centers, workplace testing sites and criminal justice organizations.

The noninvasive test correlates dosages with drug levels found in the patient’s oral fluid to determine if a prescribed medication is present at a level consistent with the prescribed dosage regimen. Widely used urine drug tests cannot provide this level of information or detail. They simply report the presence or absence of a drug.

According to research published in February in the Journal of Pain Medicine, the CORE test, using a saliva specimen, can determine if oral fluid drug concentrations are within expected steady-state drug ranges and provide the physician with information that may be important in determining whether the patient is likely taking the medication as prescribed, has a metabolic or health issue, or possible drug interactions, or analytical problem.

“Dose-correlation testing helps doctors detect problems in how patients are taking or not taking their meds,” said Kwesi Grant-Acquah, M.D., a board certified internal medicine physician at Omni Family Medical in Milwaukee. “If a patient’s drug level is above or below the expected steady-state range at the prescribed dosage, the patient may not be taking the drug as directed or may have a genetic or metabolic abnormality that could require a therapy change.”

According to Dr. Grant-Acquah, results from the CORE test provide physicians with actionable information to use in conversations with patients about how and when they are taking their medications. “Urine testing can’t determine if a patient is adhering to exact dosing because the only information given to the physician is whether the patient had taken the drug before urine collection and not if proper dosing is being followed,” explained Dr. Grant-Acquah.

In his practice, Dr. Grant-Acquah counsels patients if CORE test results indicate low or no steady-state oral-fluid levels for opiate medications. “In most cases, after saying that I suspect you are not taking the pain medication as prescribed, the second CORE test a month later shows full compliance. Measuring steady-state drug blood levels is a strong incentive to comply with prescribed therapy and will discourage drug diversion,” he said.

“Collection of urine specimens usually is not observed, so the possibility of sample adulteration always exists,” continued Dr. Grant-Acquah. “Urine tests can be beaten easily and too many people skate through.”

“CORE was developed to satisfy an unmet need in prescription drug monitoring,” said Richard Stripp, Ph.D., chief scientific and technical officer at Cordant. “While blood testing can report dose correlation results, it is invasive, expensive and requires trained staff. With CORE, providers get similar benefits to blood testing with the convenience of noninvasive sample collection and without concern for sample adulteration.”

Interest Growing for Oral Fluid Drug Monitoring Clinical guidelines for opioid therapy recommend that clinicians perform drug monitoring tests in conjunction with other checks, such as pill counts, self-reporting and behavior monitoring. For physicians, testing can provide evidence that patients are upholding the terms of the treatment agreement.

While most drug testing is performed on urine specimens, there is a growing consensus that oral fluid testing offers advantages over urine and blood testing. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has recognized the benefits of oral fluid testing.

Published studies have shown strong correlations of drug testing results obtained with urine and oral fluid specimens. They show comparable positive rates between oral fluid and urine specimens, and the overall positive rates in oral fluid were higher with high risk patients, than those in urine.

About Cordant Based in Denver, Cordant Health Solutions™ is at the forefront of combating today’s opioid epidemic through its network of toxicology laboratories and pharmacies. Cordant is committed to providing solutions for payers, clinicians and agencies involved with addiction, criminal justice and pain management.  Cordant is one of the only companies that integrates toxicology laboratories and full-service, high-touch pharmacies that specialize in complex management and dispensing of controlled substances. Cordant provides testing protocols and digital case-management tools to help customers become more efficient and effective in using toxicology test results.