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Proposed HHS changes to testing of oral fluids and urine could impact motor carriers’ DOT drug testing programs

Comments on the proposed changes must be received by June 6

Posted May 13, 2022

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published a request for comments on proposed changes to the Mandatory Guidelines for testing of oral fluids and urine. These proposed changes to HHS drug testing guidelines, if implemented, would have no immediate effect on the drug testing procedures used by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT must follow HHS testing requirements, however, so if the proposed changes are issued as final rules, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will go through its rulemaking process to adopt the changes.

The proposals include several components, including:

  • An annual review and potential revision of the drug testing panel by HHS without a comment period,
  • The addition of an authorized biomarker testing panel to allow laboratories to test for biomarkers without a request from the medical review officer (MRO),
  • A change to the MRO’s verification process for codeine and morphine,
  • A revision to the confirmatory test cutoff for morphine in urine samples,
  • The addition of a requirement for MROs to submit semiannual reports, and
  • Revisions to the oral fluid collection procedure.

Comments on these proposed rule changes are being accepted through June 6, 2022.

This article was written by Jen Loomis of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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