Test Utilization: Appropriate Utilization of Drug Tests for Pain Management Patients


Drug testing is becoming routine in the management of patients who are prescribed opioid therapy for chronic pain. If the unique characteristics of this clinical application are not well understood, routine drug testing can be costly. This presentation will focus on an approach to managing drug testing that is designed to maximize medical utility while minimizing inappropriate utilization.

Originally presented on September 25, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Lecture Presenter

Gwendolyn A. McMillin, PhD

Gwendolyn A. McMillin, PhD

Medical Director, Toxicology Laboratories
ARUP Laboratories
Co-director, Pharmacogenetics
ARUP Laboratories
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology
University of Utah School of Medicine

Dr. McMillin has been involved in drug testing for more than 20 years. She is currently focused on the development and promotion of strategies, including test optimization, novel analytical techniques, alternate specimens, and algorithms for interpretation of results, which improve utility and quality of laboratory testing. She has published more than 100 manuscripts, review articles, and original research in this area, and actively participates in several professional organizations. She received her PhD in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Utah and is certified by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry in clinical chemistry and toxicological chemistry.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • List appropriate reasons to request quantitative(e.g., confirmation) tests.
  • Understand utility of blood for drug testing.

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, and ARUP Laboratories