ACLU of Indiana Challenges Pain Medication Regulation
Drug testing is not warranted under the Fourth Amendment and is unconstitutional
January 8, 2014
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Indianapolis — Patients prescribed certain pain medications should not be forced to consent to annual drug testing as a condition of treatment, the American Civil Liberties Union announced today in the filing of a class action lawsuit against the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana.
Kenneth J. Falk, Legal Director of the ACLU of Indiana, said, “The Fourth Amendment protects all of us from government-mandated searches unless there is cause or justification. The mandatory drug testing simply goes too far.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of James Wierciak, a Hamilton County resident who has been prescribed pain medications for at least 18 years in order to manage the chronic pain caused by a variety of health problems.
Effective December 15, 2013, patients who receive certain levels of common pain medications from their physicians are required to sign a treatment agreement mandating the testing and are required to submit to testing at least annually. The lawsuit alleges that this required testing constitutes an unreasonable search and therefore violates the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The lawsuit seeks a court order prohibiting the Medical Licensing Board from requiring the drug testing when that testing is not medically indicated and from requiring that patients sign a treatment agreement consenting to the testing. A motion requesting that the case be certified as a class action was filed as well.
The lawsuit, Wierciak v. Individual Members of the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana, Cause No. 1:14-cv-12, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on Jan. 8, 2014.
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