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Agilent and South Bend Medical Foundation Developing LC/MS/MS Methods to Comply with New Federal Guidelines

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Agilent Technologies Inc. and South Bend Medical Foundation have collaborated to develop urine testing methods to meet the new mandatory guidelines for federal workplace drug testing. The new guidelines, which are scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, will allow for the first time use of liquid chromatography/triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) for confirmatory urine drug testing.

The resulting methods will be validated per National Laboratory Certification Program guidelines by the staff at South Bend. The methods will use the same column so that all five required drug classes can be analyzed on a single LC/MS/MS instrument without system changes.

The methods will be accompanied by well-documented standard operating procedures, including sample preparation, to accelerate implementation and facilitate training of laboratory personnel.

“We frequently hear that the main barriers to adopting the new technologies required to drive laboratory productivity and/or cost reductions are lack of time and in-house expertise,” said Tom Gluodenis, Jr., Agilent worldwide forensics program manager. “We’re now making it easier for busy labs to reap the benefits of these new guidelines with minimal time and effort in method development. For example, the tools we have just developed in response to the changing workplace guidelines could enable laboratories to validate these methods and be running billable urine confirmations in under 60 days.”

Use of LC/MS/MS for urine drug confirmations speeds testing and reduces cost-per-sample compared to previous methods. In addition, several new target drugs have been added to the panel, several cut-off concentrations have been adjusted, and the minimum requirements for interference testing have been satisfied for amphetamines and opiates. Also, the new requirement specifying at least 10 data points across a peak can be met.

In addition to collaborating with Agilent to develop the new methods, the South Bend Medical Foundation will participate in the training of Agilent’s field representatives. This will enhance Agilent’s ability to support laboratories seeking to implement these testing methods.