DOT Publishes Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding the Drug Testing Program

Thursday, February 2, 2017

On January 23rd, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register. The DOT proposes to amend its drug testing program to add four synthetic opioids --hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone and oxycodone-- to its drug testing panel. These synthetic opioids appear in brand-name drugs such as Zohydro, Dilaudid, OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Vicodin, Opana, and many others.  It also removes methylenedioxyethylamphetamine, (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte from the existing drug-testing panel and adds methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte.

The proposed revision of the drug testing panel will harmonize the DOT's panel with the revised Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Urine (HHS Mandatory Guidelines) published on January 23, 2017 and effective October 1, 2017.

The proposed rule would be in line with the Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandatory Guidelines. DOT regulations mandate urine testing under a five-panel test. The new rule would maintain the current five- panel test, but would rename the existing opiates category in § 40.85 from ‘‘opiates’’ to ‘‘opioids’’ to include the new HHS-mandated drugs.  Urinalysis will remain the only acceptable type of drug testing for Department of Transportation agencies

DOT will accept comments to the notice of proposed rulemaking until March 24, 2017.

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