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U.S. DOT Proposes 4 Opioids for Drug Testing Panel

January 23, 2017

Image: U.S. Dept. of Transportation
Image: U.S. Dept. of Transportation

The Department of Transportation is proposing to amend its drug-testing program regulation to add four opioids (hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone) to its testing panel.

In addition, it is proposing to add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte. 

Published in the Federal Register for Jan. 23, the notice of proposed rulemaking aims to align DOT’s regulated-industry drug testing with the Department of Health and Human Services’ laboratory drug-testing requirements.

DOT said the NPRM also would clarify certain existing drug-testing provisions as well as remove outdated information from the current regulation and remove the requirement for employers and C/TPAs to submit blind specimens.

In addition, DOT said some other elements of the proposal would:

  • Remove, modify, and add specific definitions and make certain definitions consistent with those of HHS
  • Remove blind specimen testing
  • Modify several provisions related to urine specimens
  • Add emphasis to an existing Part 40 provision that prohibits DNA testing of urine specimens
  • Add clarification to the term "prescription"
  • Modify sections related to how MROs verify test results related to semi-synthetic opioids

DOT noted that it is required by the Omnibus Transportation Employees Testing Act to follow the HHS requirements for the testing procedures/protocols and drugs for which it tests.

Comments on the NPRM should be submitted by March 24, 2017 under Docket DOT–OST–2016–0189 using any of these methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal:  Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments

Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590

Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W-12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Telephone: 1-202-366-9329 

Fax: 1-202-493-2251

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