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ROCHE BIOMEDICAL LABORATORIES ATLANTA, GA. FACILITY RECEIVES NIDA CERTIFICATION FOR DRUG TESTING

       ROCHE BIOMEDICAL LABORATORIES ATLANTA, GA. FACILITY
          RECEIVES NIDA CERTIFICATION FOR DRUG TESTING
    ATLANTA, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc. (RBL) facility in Atlanta, Ga., has received certification from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to perform drug testing for federally mandated drug abuse programs.  Five RBL laboratories are now certified by NIDA.
    Companies that receive NIDA certification are considered by the government to be capable of performing drug tests with a high degree of accuracy and reliability.
    "Illicit drug use has invaded the American workplace, and its threat is both immediate and pervasive," said RBL President James B. Powell, M.D.  "It's no secret that employees who use drugs are sick more often, are involved in more accidents and are less productive than their non-drug-using counterparts," he said.
    "At RBL, we will continue our strenuous efforts to achieve certification for our other laboratories so that we can continue to play a major role in helping to combat one of the most serious problems facing our country," Powell added.
    The NIDA Certification Process
    The five RBL regional laboratories are among only 76 laboratories in the entire country to have received NIDA certification.  NIDA certification is presently required for all laboratories participating in federal drug testing programs, with the exception of the U.S. Armed Forces laboratories.
    The rigorous and comprehensive NIDA certification process encompasses a review of standards for operating procedures, documentation of the testing process, quality assurance, quality control, personnel qualification, protection of employee records, and drug testing and retesting procedures.  Laboratories generally prepare at least one year in advance for NIDA's extensive inspection process. RBL is currently in the NIDA certification process for additional laboratories in Houston and New Orleans.
    NIDA Drug Testing Guidelines and Procedures
    NIDA and the Department of Health and Human Services issued final technical guidelines for drug testing in April 1988, in direct response to former President Ronald Reagan's order to establish procedures for federal employee drug testing.  The NIDA guidelines specify rules for the collection of urine specimens, laboratory assay procedures, and the reporting and review of test results.
    In a three-step process, federal agency drug testing programs screen for five drugs:  marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines and PCP. First, an assay test is performed, which is used to screen the specimen for the presence of an illegal drug.  Any positive test results then are reconfirmed using a highly sensitive procedure called gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).  In the third step in the process, the federal agency's medical review officer (MRO) reviews and evaluates the results.  The MRO may then discuss the case with the employee, recommend retesting or refer the employee for further evaluation, counseling and treatment, if warranted.
    Headquartered in Burlington, N.C., Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc. is one of the nation's largest clinical laboratory networks.  RBL performs a broad spectrum of diagnostic health tests for physicians, hospitals, health clinics, medical centers, nursing homes, corporations, and federal, state and local governments.  RBL is a subsidiary of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., a leading research-intensive health care company headquartered in Nutley, N.J.
    -0-            12/16/91
    /CONTACT:  Diane Donlon of Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc., 201-235-7166/ CO:  Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc. ST:  Georgia, North Carolina IN:  HEA SU: FC -- NY083 -- 2678 12/16/91 16:55 EST
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Date:Dec 16, 1991
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