Prescription Drug Abusers, Sellers Now on VeriMed's Radar

By Mia Burns (mia.burns@ubm.com)

Abusing and selling prescription medicines is a widespread problem, and VeriMed has launched an assessment tool in response. Radar, which stands for Risk Assessment of Diversion and Aberrancy, is a psychometric assessment that evaluates a patient’s risk of committing such offenses. Previously, pain physicians have used assessments that have focused mainly on a patient’s likelihood to abuse controlled substances, but not their likelihood to exhibit deceptive or manipulative behavior. VeriMed executives say they believe that these characteristics are at the heart of diversion.

Radar identifies three specific diversion classifications and six aberrancy categories, providing the physician with a broad baseline of critical information prior to the patient entering the examination room. “Today there is no other company that offers a holistic solution to make the supply chain for controlled substances secure and more transparent,” says Philip Gaucher, founder and CEO of VeriMed. “Through a mix of technology and services, VeriMed provides critical patient information to doctors and pharmacists to ensure only those patients who are taking their medication as prescribed are receiving that medication.”

Five pain management centers in North Carolina and Tennessee, with a total of 4,000 patients are beta testing Radar. Dr. Michael Trombley chief medical officer of Pain Management Providers in North Carolina is one of the clinics involved with the beta testing. He told Med Ad News Daily, “As a physician, there is a comfort knowing that this test has controls to prevent cheating and provides a new more detailed level of assessing at-risk patients.”

VeriMed has developed six parallel versions of Radar to reduce a patient’s ability to memorize content from earlier tests and intentionally cheat, also known as a carry-over effect. A random, five-minute, non-repetitive version of Radar is completed electronically each time a patient visits his or her physician. “At Vitality Health Services, we have let patients know that there is a new set of questions which help us assess the patient’s relationship with medication and their current treatment plan,” Dr. Trombley told Med Ad News Daily.

Gaucher told Med Ad News Daily, “With VeriMed, pain physicians can better understand a patient’s likelihood for abuse, diversion, and deception, and pharmacists can adhere to their corresponding responsibility per the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. As it pertains to Radar, VeriMed worked with Dr. Carina Fiedeldey-Van Dijk, president of ePsy Consulting, a renowned research psychologist specializing in the development and validation of psychometric assessments.  Under her guidance, Radar was designed to go one step further than other assessments used today, measuring the likelihood for deception and/or manipulation. Radar has also been designed to be completed on a tablet or computer which allows the results to immediately feed into the clinic’s existing system.”

Doctors and patients have provided positive feedback on Radar, Gaucher says. “For physicians, they feel that they can better understand their patient’s mental state before prescribing opioid medication,” he told Med Ad News Daily. “Radar not only helps identify potential abusers or diverters, it also helps confirm that a patient is, in fact, a good candidate for pain medication.  Since most patients who receive pain management take an assessment prior to seeing their physician, there has not been a major change for them. The feedback we have received from a group of select government officials with whom we have shared Radar has also been positive. They are in favor of replacing antiquated assessments with tests that can measure that likelihood for deception.” 

VERIMED INTRODUCES RADARSM: THE FIRST PATIENT RISK ASSESSMENT EMPOWERING PAIN PHYSICIANS TO IDENTIFY PATIENTS WHO MAY ABUSE OR DIVERT PRESCRIPTION DRUGS 

Posted: December 2013


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