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Drug Testing Laws

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Section 2.5 Quality Assurance and Quality Control.
(a) General. Drug testing laboratories shall have a quality assurance program which encompasses all aspects of the testing process including but not limited to specimen acquisition, chain of custody, security and reporting of results, initial and confirmatory testing, certification of calibrators and controls, and validation of analytical procedures. Quality assurance procedures shall be designed, implemented, and reviewed to monitor the conduct of each step of the testing process.

(b) Laboratory Quality Control Requirements for Initial Tests. Each analytical run of specimens to be screened shall include:
(1) Sample(s) certified to contain no drug (i.e., negative urine samples);
(2) Positive control(s) fortified with drug or metabolite;
(3) At least one positive control with the drug or metabolite at or near the threshold (cutoff);
(4) A sufficient number of calibrators to ensure and document the linearity of the assay method over time in the concentration area of the cutoff. After acceptable values are obtained for the known calibrators, those values will be used to calculate sample data;
(5) A minimum of 10 percent of the total specimens and quality control samples in each analytical run shall be quality control samples; and
(6) One percent of each run, with a minimum of at least one sample, shall be the laboratory's blind quality control samples to appear as normal samples to the laboratory analysts. Implementation of procedures to ensure that carryover does not contaminate the testing of an donor's specimen shall be documented.

(c) Laboratory Quality Control Requirements for Confirmation Tests. Each analytical run of specimens to be confirmed shall include:
(1) Sample(s) certified to contain no drug (i.e., negative urine samples);
(2) Positive calibrator(s) and control(s) fortified with drug or metabolite; and
(3) At least one positive control with the drug or metabolite at or near the threshold (cutoff). The linearity and precision of the method shall be periodically documented. Implementation of procedures to ensure that carryover does not contaminate the testing of a donor's specimen shall also be documented.

(d) Agency Blind Sample Program.
(1) Agencies shall only purchase blind quality control materials that: (a) have been certified by immunoassay and GC/MS and (b) have stability data which verifies those materials' performance over time.
(2) During the initial 90-day period of any new drug testing program, each agency shall submit blind performance test samples to each laboratory it contracts with in the amount of at least 20 percent of the total number of specimens submitted (up to a maximum of 200 blind samples) and thereafter a minimum of 3 percent blind samples (up to a maximum of 100 blind samples) submitted per quarter.
(3) Approximately 80 percent of the blind quality control samples shall be negative (i.e., certified to contain no drug) and the remaining samples shall be positive for one or more drugs per sample in a distribution such that all the drugs to be tested are included in approximately equal frequencies of challenge. The positive samples shall be spiked only with those drugs for which the agency is testing.
(4) The agency shall investigate any unsatisfactory blind performance test sample results and submit its findings to the Secretary. The Secretary shall continue the investigation to ensure that the laboratory has corrected the cause of the unsatisfactory performance test result. A report of the Secretary's investigative findings and the corrective action taken by the laboratory shall be sent to the agency contracting officer. The Secretary shall ensure notification of the finding to all other Federal agencies for which the laboratory is engaged in urine drug testing and coordinate any necessary action.
(5) Should a false positive error occur on a blind performance test sample and the error is determined to be an administrative error (clerical, sample mixup, etc.), the Secretary shall require the laboratory to take corrective action to minimize the occurrence of the particular error in the future; and, if there is reason to believe the error could have been systematic, the Secretary may also require review and reanalysis of previously run specimens.
(6) Should a false positive error occur on a blind performance test sample and the error is determined to be a technical or methodological error, the laboratory shall submit all quality control data from the batch of specimens which included the false positive specimen. In addition, the laboratory shall retest all specimens analyzed positive for that drug or metabolite from the time of final resolution of the error back to the time of the last satisfactory performance test cycle. This retesting shall be documented by a statement signed by the Responsible Person. The Secretary may require an on-site review of the laboratory which may be conducted unannounced during any hours of operation of the laboratory. The Secretary has the option of revoking (section 3.13) or suspending (section 3.14) the laboratory's certification or recommending that no further action be taken if the case is one of less serious error in which corrective action has already been taken, thus reasonably assuring that the error will not occur again.

Section 2.6 Reporting and Review of Results.
(a) Medical Review Officer Shall Review Results. An essential part of the drug testing program is the final review of results. A positive test result does not automatically identify an employee/applicant as an illegal drug user. An individual with a detailed knowledge of possible alternate medical explanations is essential to the review of results. This review shall be performed by the MRO prior to the transmission of results to agency administrative officials.

(b) Medical Review Officer - Qualifications and Responsibilities. The MRO shall be a licensed physician with knowledge of substance abuse disorders. The MRO may be an employee of the agency or a contractor for the agency; however, the MRO shall not be an employee or agent of or have any financial interest in the laboratory for which the MRO is reviewing drug testing results. Additionally, the MRO shall not derive any financial benefit by having an agency use a specific drug testing laboratory or have any agreement with the laboratory that may be construed as a potential conflict of interest. The role of the MRO is to review and interpret positive test results obtained through the agency's testing program. In carrying out this responsibility, the MRO shall examine alternate medical explanations for any positive test result. This action could include conducting a medical interview with the donor, review of the donor's medical history, or review of any other relevant biomedical factors. The MRO shall review all medical records made available by the donor when a confirmed positive test could have resulted from legally prescribed medication. The MRO shall not, however, consider the results of urine specimens that are not obtained or processed in accordance with these Guidelines.

(c) Positive Test Result. Prior to making a final decision to verify a positive test result, the MRO shall give the donor an opportunity to discuss the test result with him or her. Following verification of a positive test result, the MRO shall report the result to the agency's official designated to receive results.

(d) Verification for Opiates; Review for Prescription Medication. Before the MRO verifies a confirmed positive result for opiates, he or she shall determine that there is clinical evidence--in addition to the urine test--of illegal use of any opium, opiate, or opium derivative (e.g., morphine/codeine) listed in Schedule I or II of the Controlled Substances Act. This requirement does not apply if the confirmatory procedure for opiates confirms the presence of 6- monoacetylmorphine since the presence of this metabolite is proof of heroin use.

(e) Reanalysis Authorized. Should any question arise as to the accuracy or validity of a positive test result, only the MRO is authorized to order a retest of a single specimen or the Bottle A specimen from a split specimen collection. Such retests are authorized only at laboratories certified under these Guidelines.

(f) Result Consistent with Legal Drug Use. If the MRO determines there is a legitimate medical explanation for the positive test result, he or she shall take no further action and report the test result as negative.

(g) Result Scientifically Insufficient. Additionally, the MRO, based on review of inspection reports, quality control data, and other pertinent results, may determine that the result is scientifically insufficient for further action and declare the test specimen negative. In this situation the MRO may request a retest of the original specimen before making this decision. (The MRO may request that the retest be performed by the same laboratory or, as provided in section 2.6(e), that an aliquot of the original specimen be sent for a retest to an alternate laboratory which is certified in accordance with these Guidelines.) The laboratory shall assist in this review process as requested by the MRO by making available the individual responsible for day-to-day management of the urine drug testing laboratory or other employee who is a forensic toxicologist or who has equivalent forensic experience in urine drug testing, to provide specific consultation as required by the agency. The MRO shall report to the Secretary all negative findings based on scientific insufficiency but shall not include any personal identifying information in such reports.

(h) Reporting Final Results. The MRO shall report the final results of the drug tests in writing and in a manner designed to ensure confidentiality of the information.

Section 2.7 Protection of Employee Records.
Consistent with 5 U.S.C. 522a(m) and 48 CFR 24.101-24.104, all laboratory contracts shall require that the contractor comply with the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 522a. In addition, laboratory contracts shall require compliance with patient access and confidentiality provisions of section 503 of Pub. L. 100-71. The agency shall establish a Privacy Act System of Records or modify an existing system, or use any applicable Government-wide system of records to cover both the agency's and the laboratory's records of employee urinalysis results. The contract and the Privacy Act System of Records shall specifically require that employee records be maintained and used with the highest regard for employee privacy.

Section 2.8 Individual Access to Test and Laboratory Certification Results.
In accordance with section 503 of Pub. L. 100-71, any Federal employee who is the subject of a drug test shall, upon written request, have access to any records relating to his or her drug test and any records relating to the results of any relevant certification, review, or revocation-of-certification proceedings.

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