As announced today by HHS, the following drug testing program changes will take place with the current effective date set to October 1, 2017:
- Use Urine (UrMG) to test for additional Schedule II drugs of the Controlled Substances Act (i.e., oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone) in federal drug-free workplace programs.
- Remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) from the authorized drugs in Section 3.4, add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte.
- Raise the lower pH cutoff from 3 to 4 for identifying specimens as adulterated
- Require MRO requalification training and reexamination at least every five years after initial MRO certification.
- Allow federal agencies to authorize collection of an alternate specimen (e.g., oral fluid) when a donor in their program is unable to provide a sufficient amount of urine specimen at the collection site.
Many of the wording changes and reorganization of the UrMG were made for clarity, to use current scientific terminology or preferred grammar, and for consistency with the OFMG.
And Proposed DOT Rule Changes for Which Public Comment is Being Accepted
The Department of Transportation is proposing to amend its drug-testing program regulation to:
- Add four opioids (hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone) to its drug-testing panel.
- Add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte; and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine, (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte.
The drug-testing panel revisions are intended to harmonize with the revised Mandatory Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal drug testing programs for urine testing. This proposal also adds clarification to certain drug-testing program provisions where necessary, removes outdated information in the regulations that is no longer needed, and proposes to remove the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators to submit blind specimens. See: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-01-23/pdf/2017-01131.pdf
Dates May Change!
Please note that the implementation date may be pushed out on the HHS Final Rule, as may the comment period on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking due to a Memorandum addressed to the HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES from Reince Priebus, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff referenced as SUBJECT: Regulatory Freeze Pending Review. http://www.hudsoncook.com/alerts/alerts_01222017050130_15.pdf
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