Are doctors required bylaw to drug test patients who receive pain medication?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Are doctors required bylaw to drug test patients who receive pain medication?

I know that new opioid laws were passed in my state but I can’t find any information on whether doctors are required to drug test patients receiving pain medication. The reason I ask is because I receive pain medication for chronic back and shoulder pain and the doctor requires me to drug screen every 3 months. That isn’t the issue. Until recently they did the drug screening in house but now they use an outside company to do this for them. Now I got a bill from the other company for the drug screening and I don’t feel that I should have to pay anything for this.

Asked on February 1, 2019 under Malpractice Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, they are not required by law to do this, though it probably is a good idea given the opiod crises. On the other hand, a doctor is allowed to require this if it is appropriate in his or her professional medical judgment. If you don't like how your current doctor does drug screening, your option is to change doctors.

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