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Can my doctor randomly drug test me for no apparent reason?

Kaukauna, WI |

I am a 32 year old woman and my doctor prescribed vyvance for me over a year ago. Recently while on a work trip I left my prescription at the Hotel where I was staying. The following day I called the hotel and they could not find it. I felt it was important to notify my doctor because her name was on it. I only had a few pills left and felt it was not super important that I get a new prescription that day but I did ask. Very rudely she refused and said I had to wait four days to get my refill. I accepted and waited four days. When I went to the office to pick up my written prescription I was informed by the front desk that I had to wait for the nurse. When the nurse came out she blurted out in front of a full waiting room, "I have to give you a drug test before I can give you your prescription." I was very surprised as this had never happened to me before. She directed me to the restroom and told me I had to do it right away and they would call with the results. So I did it. I walked to my car feeling like some kind of criminal. The more I thought about it the more upset I became but was not sure what to do. I then went and filled my prescription and went about my day. Approx. two days later I received a call from the office stating that my results were normal but that I did not have any vyvance in my system. I quickly stated to her that I had called and explained that I left them in my hotel so I was out of meds until that day. She was very rude to me and again made me feel like a criminal even though my results were negative for any drugs or even alcohol! I am careful with my meds and take them strictly as directed....I feel as though my doctors office thinks I am some sort of druggie and it is hard to trust someone who looks at you like that. Is this legal?? Can my doctor just randomly drug test me for no apparent reason?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. You weren't required to consent to the drug test. And the doctor wasn't required to refill your amphetamine prescription. Your doctor's office sounds like it is staffed by rude people. I would change doctors and move on.

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  2. I would call your doctor and explain how you felt, the doctor should know his staff was rude to you (I would want to know if my staff behaved like this!). That being said, a doctor can ask for a drug test to determine levels of prescriptions, get baselines ect but you never have to agree though then the doctor doesn't have to continue prescribing to you. It is your choice.

    In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. You should seek counsel in your geographic area regarding any specific questions.

  3. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

    That being said, your doctor can refuse to prescribe, but you don't have to submit to a drug test if you don't want to. I'm curious as to why they chose to test you based on what appears to be a minor issue - it really shouldn't raise the flags it appeared to raise all by itself.

    The nurse may have violated HIPAA by making her public announcement; however, you don't have a private right of action under HIPAA - but you can report it to HHS.

    If you don't trust the doctor or the staff, I would recommend changing doctors - and let your doc know why. Losing you as a patient, and your revenue, may spur your doctor to make some changes in the office procedures and standards.

    If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or telephone number.

    /Christopher E. Ezold/
    The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
    One Belmont Avenue,
    Suite 501
    Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
    (610) 660-5585