Ameritox, drug screening provider, expands into adherence testing for antipsychotics

Company's Ingenuity Health service monitors Seroquel XR, Abilify usage

Adherence to chronic-care drugs is generally poor across the board, but especially so for antipsychotics, whose patients often have limited ability to take medications properly. Ameritox (Baltimore), a national provider of drug screening (generally for monitoring drug abuse) has developed methodologies for verifying usage of opioids and other painkillers as an adjunct to clinical care; now the company is expanding its capabilities into drugs for mental health problems. The service, called Ingenuity Health, was started in March for Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s Abilify (aripiprazole); now it is being expanded to AstraZeneca’s Seroquel XR (quetiapine). The Ingenuity Health service includes a reference database of adherent test results; the urine tests used to determine drug usage for specific patients are compared to the reference, and clinicians then have a tool to better monitor patient care.

"The singular problem of a lack of insight into whether a person is taking the medication prescribed has long been a barrier to helping those with serious mental illness," said Mike DeGeorge, Director of Medical Affairs for Ameritox and Ingenuity Health, in a statement. "This method helps address the problem that behavioral health clinicians face with 50% of their patients: medication non-adherence."

Ameritox’s services include screening, medication monitoring and support for practice management. The company also provides data for insurers and managed care organizations. Although most of its published research is directed at clinical support, the crossover to manufacturers conducting their own clinical research or adherence programs is apparent.