HHS guidelines date changed to 10/1/10

Earlier this month we published this article indicating that there may be a delay in the effective date of the HHS guideline change. It was announced today that the changes that were going to take effect on May 1, 2010, will now become effective on October 1, 2010.

As a reminder, two of the significant changes are as follows:

– MDMA (Ecstasy) and 6-Acetylmorphine (Heroin-specific metabolite) will become required screens in regulated panels
– Screening and confirmation cutoffs for cocaine and amphetamines will be lowered

The  Department of Transportation published the following information today:

“Posted for display in today’s Federal Register for publication tomorrow is a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Final Rule changing the effective date of the Revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs (Mandatory Guidelines) from May 1, 2010, to October 1, 2010.

The purpose of the HHS Final Rule is to notify participants in Federal and federally-regulated workplace drug testing programs as soon as possible that they will not be expected to implement the revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines on May 1, 2010, so that they do not unnecessarily expend resources to comply on May 1, or risk compliance problems by prematurely implementing new provisions.

As you know, on February 4, 2010 the Department of Transportation issued Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to align our regulated-industry drug testing with the HHS laboratory drug testing requirements. The 60-day public comment period for the NPRM officially ended on April 5, 2010, with late filed comments considered to the extent practicable.

The comments to our NPRM are very important to us, and we review and consider each and every one of them very carefully.  That process takes some time, as does the process of deciding upon and writing the contents of a final rule. The HHS decision to change the effective date of the Mandatory Guidelines should enable us to issue our rulemaking in time to meet the October 1st date.”

The full, published document is available at the Federal Register’s website.

In light of this change, we will continue to monitor and will keep you informed on any further regulatory changes, and when applicable, any resulting changes that must be made to your testing program.

For more information about drug testing, visit our website.