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The Department of Health and Human Services HHS revises some of the scientific and technical guidelines for Federal drug testing programs and revises certain standards for certification of laboratories engaged in urine drug testing for Federal agencies.
The major changes proposed in the notice published in the Federal Register on January 25,are summarized here to facilitate the discussion of the comments received during the public comment period.
The Department proposed reducing the requirement to collect 60 mL of urine at the collection site to 30 mL. This change was proposed because many times donors have difficulty in providing the 60 Mandatory pre-employment drug test essay of urine.
In addition, 30 mL is adequate to complete the required testing and satisfy other program requirements. Several Federal agencies have been granted waivers to use split specimen collection procedures during the past 5 years.
The Department believes that appropriate guidance must be provided regarding the minimum acceptable volumes for the split specimens, measuring temperature before a single donor specimen is transferred into two separate specimen bottles, sending both split specimen bottles to the laboratory at the same time to ensure that they are subject to the same shipping and storage conditions, and specifying the procedures for testing Bottle B when the Bottle A specimen is reported positive.
The Department proposed to revise the collection procedure to allow Federal agencies to use an individual of the same gender, other than a collection site employee, to observe the collection of a specimen whenever there is reason to believe the individual may have altered or substituted the specimen.
This change is based on the understanding that it is not always possible to have a collection site employee of the same gender observe the collection. The Department proposed a change to allow a laboratory to use a certifying scientist who is only certified to review initial drug tests which are negative.
This could assist in reducing the cost of testing without compromising the reliability of drug testing. This change reflects advances in technology of immunoassay tests for marijuana metabolites. The Department proposed to allow laboratories to use multiple immunoassay tests for the same drug or drug class.
This would allow laboratories to use an initial test and then forward all presumptive positives for a second test by a different immunoassay technique to minimize possible presumptive positives due to the presence of structural analogues in the specimen.
In addition, this policy would allow a laboratory to use a different immunoassay for specimens that may be untestable with one immunoassay. This proposed requirement would ensure that high concentrations of sympathomimetic amines available in over-the-counter and prescription medications will not be misidentified as methamphetamine.
The performance testing sample portion of the laboratory certification program was proposed to be changed by reducing the performance testing PT challenges for certified laboratories from 6 cycles per year to 4 cycles per year.
The Department proposed restricting the types of arrangements that can exist between the Medical Review Officer MRO and the laboratory to ensure that a conflict of interest does not exist. Similarly, the laboratory would be prohibited from entering into any agreement with an MRO that could be construed as a conflict of interest.
These procedures will ensure and provide a timely and fair review of all suspensions or proposed revocations. All written comments were reviewed and taken into consideration in the preparation of the revised Mandatory Guidelines. Similar comments are considered together.
Definitions A number of commenters expressed concerns with the definitions in section 1. It was suggested that the definition for chain of custody indicate that couriers do not need to document chain of custody while the specimens are in transit to the laboratory.
The Department agrees that the Mandatory Guidelines should be clarified to address that issue.
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Specimens are sealed in packages and any tampering with a sealed specimen would be noticed by the laboratory and documented on the specimen chain of custody.
In addition, as a practical matter, couriers, express couriers, and postal service personnel do not have access to the specimen chain of custody form since the form is inside the sealed package. One commenter recommended that the definitions in the Guidelines conform to the definitions established by the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards NCCLS since the proposed definitions may be in conflict with the efforts of that nonprofit, educational organization.
The Department fully supports the efforts of this committee to develop standard definitions since a common understanding of definitions is essential for maintaining a high level of performance within laboratory testing programs.
The Department has revised the definitions in section 1. The Department has changed the proposed definitions for calibrator, control, and standard as well as included new definitions for donor, specimen, sample, and quality control sample.NOTE: This online catalog works best on a desktop computer with an updated web browser.
Kilgore College Broadway Kilgore, TX () attheheels.com Pre-Employment Drug Testing - Drug Testing in the Workplace (Why Drug Test). All of these facts relate back to the general duty of the employers to provide a safe work environment for all of their employees.
Exactly who should be subject to the new trend of mandatory drug tests, is the big question being raised among businesses, schools.
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Drug testing should not be mandatory for pre-employment.
Companies should have the choice of whether they want to drug test potential employees. Drug tests cost money.