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Department of Transportation Publishes Final Rule

    The final rule, which was published on November 13, 2017, will become effective on January 1, 2018.  The rule which was published in the Federal Register, (82 FR 52229), changed the required panel to include semi-synthetic opioids, following the Health and Human Services Guidelines for Federal drug-testing programs for urine testing. 

    The added drugs that will be tested include hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone. Some common names for these semi-synthetic opioids include OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, Exalgo®.  

    Several of these drugs are commonly prescribed by medical professionals for a variety of legitimate reasons.  The donor of a sample that tests positive for one or more of these drugs will be contacted by an MRO (Medical Review Officer) requesting a recent prescription.  If the donor is able to provide this, the company will receive a negative result report which will be followed up with a “safety concern letter”.  The company will be encouraged to have their employee speak to their medical provider to establish if it is safe for them to continue working in a safety-sensitive position.

    There were a few other changes including the rule for a shy bladder.  The process has been modified so that the collector will not submit any collection where a sufficient specimen has not been achieved in a three hour waiting period.  In addition, employees will no longer be tested for MDEA, an amphetamine similar to Ecstacy.

    The final rule is published on the ODAPC’s web site:  www.transportation.gov/odapc/frpubs.