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New Drug Patch Would Be Worn Constantly to Monitor Drug Use


February 1993

A new drug patch developed by Pharmchem Laboratories of Menlo Park, California would detect drug use by collecting perspiration from the wearer, who could wear the patch continually for one month before it had to be replaced (Tom Schmitz, "Lab Develops Patch to Detect Drug Use: Company Waiting for Federal Approval," Austin American Statesman, 1/2/93, A10).

The patch would be tamper proof and would make it extremely difficult to avoid detection of illicit drug use. It would be unable to detect impairment or when drug use occurred. Pharmchem initially plans to market the patch to criminal justice agencies but also sees a market in private companies who wish to screen or monitor employees or applicants. The company currently conducts conventional drug urinalysis for corporations including AT&T, 3M, and Marriott.