Historically, “instant” urine drug testing has been used for pre-employment, workplace monitoring, and law enforcement applications. In these instances, results were used to verify that individuals are not under the influence or abusing drugs. Standard cut-off levels (normally as high as 300 or 2,000ng/mL for opiates) are adequate for detecting drug concentrations in their most basic form. However, standard cut-off levels are not effective in providing accurate assessments of patient compliance, or to monitor detox. Medication monitoring and the most accurate drug testing requires much lower cut-off levels that can only be achieved at a lab. DRUGSCAN cut-off levels are designed to achieve 100% accuracy.
POCT devices and analyzers are based on immunoassay technologies, which not only have elevated cut-offs but also are unable to identify specific drugs within a class. DRUGSCAN uses the most advanced technology that provides a unique “chemical fingerprint” for the drug in question, enabling positive identification and quantitation at very low levels.
Manufacturers’ instructions regarding POCT devices suggest subsequent quantification by a more specific method, such as LC/MS/MS. LC-MS/MS should be used when deemed medically necessary for the following reasons:
- A more sensitive method is required allowing for better detection of individual drugs and metabolites
- A more specific result is required that identifies both drug classes and specific drugs and metabolites within that class