Physician's Guide To
Urine Drug Testing

Why Choose Urine for Drug Testing?

Urine is the gold standard for drug testing because it has a longer window of detection, is non-invasive and less costly when compared to blood testing. There are two main types of urine drug tests: Point-of-care (POC) and laboratory-based tests.

POC vs Laboratory-based Tests

The following chart details the benefits, limitations, and suggested use of POC and laboratory-based tests.

  • POC testing involves a urine drug cup and collection in the physician’s office. The test results are read immediately by the office laboratory or staff.
  • Laboratory tests are more sensitive than POC tests. These are quantitative, confirmatory tests that use chromagraphic methods to provide definitive parent drug identification and/or their metabolite(s).

"Drug diversion is a major problem within our society, and it is hard to detect. However, urine drug testing can aid in that detection process. By testing, we can get an early and accurate identification of non-compliance. We can also detect the use of illegal substances…and potential drug-to-drug interactions, which could be lethal."
  Michael R. Clark, MD, MPH, MBA
Director, Pain Treatment Program
The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

How to Test: POC vs Lab-based Testing


Last updated on: August 20, 2013