Press Releases Detail:
Avitar Becomes First U.S. Company to Provide Standard Detection in Oral Fluid and Hair of Prescription Drugs
Report Says Illegal Abuse Increasing Nationwide
May 02, 2001
CANTON, Mass., May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Avitar, Inc. (Amex: - news) announced today that it has become the first company in the United States to offer detection in oral fluid and hair of three frequently abused prescription drugs. The company said its laboratory analysis of oral fluid and hair samples will now include GC/MS (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) identification of the pain relievers, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, and Oxycodone. The identification of these opiate-based drugs in oral fluid and hair analysis as part of routine testing protocols will be performed at Avitar's U.S. Drug Testing Laboratories in Des Plaines, Illinois.
These confirmation tests will be used in conjunction with both Avitar's ORALscreen(TM) point-of-collection oral fluid drugs-of-abuse test and HAIRscreen(TM), Avitar's laboratory-based hair test for drugs of abuse.
The National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) reported in January 2001 a rapid spread of illegal use of highly potent prescription drugs, such as OxyContin that includes the active ingredient, Oxycodone. Many states, including Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia have reported that OxyContin is the fastest growing threat in illegal drug activities. The NDIC article states that due to its pharmacological effects, heroin abusers are using OxyContin as a suitable substitute. These abusers are increasingly involved in instances of theft, robbery, and fraud to support their habits, the report stated.
A Newsweek article last month stated, ``According to the DEA, the most- abused prescription drugs include the oxycodone and hydrocodone types of painkillers, which contain potentially addictive opioids (the two drugs differ slightly in chemical structure, but both work similarly on the body).''
Drug testing laboratories that routinely perform analysis on urine samples typically only identify these opiate-related compounds as part of special test requests. These laboratories are only looking for illegal substances such as heroin and are not targeting the identification of these prescription drugs. However, Avitar's ORALconfirm(TM) and HAIRscreen will now be able to test for the presence of these three drugs.
``We are pleased to enhance our industry-leading products to better serve our customers in this growing $1.5 billion drugs-of-abuse testing market,'' said Peter P. Phildius, Avitar's Chairman and CEO. ``Drug abusers are often aware of industry practices and illegally use prescription drugs such as OxyContin knowing they will avoid detection. They remain on the job undetected without the proper treatment, endangering themselves and their fellow employees and pose a potential liability for their employer.''
Phildius added, ``By providing this additional analysis as part of our standard ORALconfirm and HAIRscreen testing services, Avitar has taken a lead position in the industry in helping companies identify this problem.''
Avitar, Inc. (Amex: - news) headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts, develops, manufactures and markets innovative medical devices based on proprietary core technologies for two distinctive markets: oral fluid diagnostics and customized polyurethane applications used in the wound dressing industry. Oral fluid diagnostics includes both the drugs-of-abuse testing market estimated to be worth $1.5 billion encompassing the corporate workplace and criminal justice markets and the $20 billion clinical diagnostics market. Avitar's products include ORALscreen(TM), the world's first non-invasive, rapid, onsite oral fluid test for drugs-of-abuse, and HAIRscreen(TM) a laboratory based hair test for detecting long-term drug abuse. Additionally, the company manufactures and markets HYDRASORB(TM), an absorbent topical dressing for moderate to heavy exudating wounds. In 2001, the company formed strategic partnerships with DIPRO Diagnostic Products GmbH, Pinkerton Security Group, and also acquired Texas-based BJR Security Service, a provider of canines trained to detect narcotics, explosives and firearms for markets that include education and the oil and petroleum industry.
For more information, see Avitar's website at avitarinc.com.
This release contains forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties including the development and marketing of new applications and other risks that are detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.