Company's New Drug-Alcohol Test Set for Release 

Company's New Drug-Alcohol Test Set for Release 
Posted by FoM on February 28, 2001 at 11:05:58 PT
By Joanna Corman
Source: Los Angeles Times
A local company is about to introduce a product that uses saliva to test levels of drugs and alcohol in the blood.   LifePoint Inc. will start marketing the testing device to law enforcement and industrial workplaces around April, company officials say. Marketing to emergency rooms will begin in late spring or early summer, said President and Chief Executive Linda Masterson. 
  The company intended to sell the product by the third quarter of last year. But changes in Federal Drug Administration rules and product design have brought delays, Masterson said.   The disposable device, which will sell for $25 for six tests, can determine whether there is marijuana, opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP or alcohol in the blood by sampling a few drops of saliva.   Results are ready in about five minutes, much faster than the days or weeks for traditional blood or urine tests. Some law enforcement officials say the device could make the Breathalyzer obsolete. Masterson said she expects law enforcement agencies, businesses and emergency rooms to use the test.   By the end of this quarter, the company will send the product to users for evaluation. While Masterson said she couldn't disclose which sites would be doing the evaluation, she said they could be places such as hospitals and police stations. Seven sites will test for drugs and three will test for the presence of alcohol. The data from those tests will be gathered and forwarded to the FDA, Masterson said.   Because the FDA does not oversee law enforcement or the workplace, the company can release the product to those institutions before the agency approves the device. The company must wait for FDA approval, however, before distributing it to emergency rooms, a process that should take less than 100 days, Masterson said.   Though the product has yet to be released, there are already plans to expand its use.   "I think the availability of a simple and easy-to-use product will expand the market," Masterson said.   Masterson said the device could one day be used for health screenings to test levels of cholesterol and various enzymes or to rule out heart attacks, for example. Paramedics who first arrive at a scene could use it to determine why someone is unconscious.   Emergency rooms will be able to use it to test for prescription drugs common to overdoses, such as Valium, antidepressants and barbiturates. And the public could use it to monitor drug levels, say if someone was taking insulin shots or was on a toxic drug that requires a regular blood test to determine how much of the drug was in their system.   Since it's been all development and no sales, LifePoint has no profits, and its stock (AMEX: LFP) has gone from a 52-week high of $9.25 to a low of $2.69. It was trading Tuesday at $4.75. Note: Law enforcement, businesses will have option to purchase device by April. News from Rancho Cucamonga in the Times Community Newspapers.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: Joanna CormanPublished: Wednesday, February 28, 2001Copyright: 2001 Los Angeles TimesAddress: Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053Fax: (213) 237-4712Contact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Drug Testing Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #6 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on February 28, 2001 at 12:19:41 PT:
Another Abstract
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Kevin Hebert on February 28, 2001 at 12:16:47 PT:
The solution to this remains the same
Refuse any drug test as a violation of your right to privacy. Only work at places where you will not be tested. This rules out a lot of jobs (strangely enough, many are in retail -- you have to make sure people aren't folding sweaters stoned, after all), but if you are diligent you can find enlightened workplaces.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on February 28, 2001 at 12:04:26 PT:
Related Article Abstract
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on February 28, 2001 at 11:56:58 PT:
We'll See
Saliva drug levels have occasionally been employed medically, but depending on the drug, they may not accurately reflect blood levels. The idea has not previously taken hold. I wouldn't believe too much from the President and CEO of a company that is nosediving in public trading.Besides, what does her little spit test say when somebody just used Listerine? Does it know the difference between good alcohol and bad alcohol? Well, maybe "all use is medicinal" according to the alcoholics.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 28, 2001 at 11:33:34 PT
zenarch that made me laugh.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by zenarch on February 28, 2001 at 11:25:51 PT
Just when I was getting used to . . . .
the idea of a cottage industry selling Human Urine - this story comes along. 'hey buddy can you hock-up a nice fat lugie for me?'yuck!!!
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: