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Are instant drug test products accurate for positive results?

Using an instant drug testing product requires confirmation testing at a laboratory when the result is non-negative.  This type of testing provides only a qualitative, preliminary analytical result. A secondary analytical method must be used to obtain a confirmed result. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is the preferred confirmatory method and only available at a certified laboratory. These screening products are reliable for negative results but not reliable for positive results.  False positives can occur due to over the counter or prescribed medications.  The laboratory positive test will be definitive and defensible in a court of law. The Medical Review Officer (MRO) process rules out positives due to legally prescribed medications.  The MRO is able to discuss medications with the donor due to the doctor patient confidentiality.

Organizations administrating instant testing products may face significant exposure to liability if not confirming non-negative results at the laboratory by falsely accusing someone of using illicit drugs when this might not be true.  Asking the employee or client about their legally prescribed medications can violate confidentiality and HIPAA laws as well other employee protections.