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FMCSA Expands Its Drug Testing Panel Effective January 1, 2018 - (11/14/2017)
United States-


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced in a rule to be published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2017, that it will expand its drug testing panel to include four synthetic opioid drugs: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone and oxymorphone. In addition, FMCSA will add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte, and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte. These changes are being made to harmonize FMCSA’s drug testing regulations with recent changes to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs. The changes to FMCSA’s rules take effect on January 1, 2018.

The addition of the synthetic opioid drugs is intended to address the nationwide epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse. Hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone and oxymorphone are Schedule II controlled substances and are more commonly known as Vicodin, OxyContin, Lortab, Norco, and Dilaudid, among others. FMCSA still refers to its drug testing panel as a 5-panel, but “opiates” is being changed to “opioids” and now will include these four synthetic substances in addition to heroin, morphine and codeine.

FMCSA’s new rules also make certain technical amendments, clarify certain definitions and remove the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators to submit blind specimens.

FMCSA-regulated employers should revise their drug and alcohol testing policies to conform to the regulations that are effective on January 1, 2018.

Jackson Lewis PC - Kathryn J. Russo

© 2014 Jackson Lewis P.C. Reprinted with permission. Originally published at www.jacksonlewis.com. Jackson Lewis is a national workplace law firm with offices nationwide.

This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

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