The use of DATs in the hospital sector has remained relatively steady over the last 5 yr. Hospital central laboratories were among the first sites where urine-based DATs were performed in Europe. Subsequently, the demand for DATs also emerged from more specialized clinical and toxicology laboratories, psychiatric units, and small, decentralized laboratories. Interestingly, usage in the emergency room (ER) accounts for the majority of point-of-collection DATs, owing to the need for instant results. In the primary-care domain, in

Table 3

Main Workplace Sectors Performing Drug Testing (Europe, 2003)







Maritime transport Railways

Road transport: buses, coaches, long-haul deliveries


Printing Airlines addition to sending samples for laboratory analysis, rehabilitation clinics and doctors' offices often prefer to use urine-based POC DATs for their rapid results and ease of use. However, the use of POC DATs is likely to remain minimal in the health care sector because of current budget cuts across Europe. As a result, the majority of DATs are being sent for laboratory analysis (3).

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