Originally published on Abbott.com
Abbott (NYSE: ABT) and Intoximeters today announced an agreement for Intoximeters to market Abbott’s SoToxaTM Mobile Test System – a handheld oral fluid roadside testing solution that rapidly and reliably detects recent drug use – alongside Intoximeters’ Alco-Sensor® brand breath alcohol-testing products. This agreement will aid law enforcement agencies in their efforts to reduce the rate of drugged driving, which has become a serious road safety issue.
Together, these technologies provide police with a robust set of roadside-testing tools for the detection of alcohol on Intoximeters’ products and six drug classes on Abbott’s SoToxa including: amphetamine, benzodiazepines, cannabis (THC), cocaine, methamphetamine, and opiates.
“We’ve heard law enforcement say that non-invasive, handheld drug-detecting technology is needed immediately to combat the growing epidemic of drug-impaired driving in the U.S.,” said Chris Scoggins, senior vice president, Rapid Diagnostics, Abbott. “With SoToxa, we’re bringing a handheld drug-detecting solution to the roadside to help police officers and civic leaders keep their roadways and communities safe.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk driving crashes, totaling more than 10,000 lives per year. Furthermore, a study issued in 2018 from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found 44 percent of drivers killed in crashes in 2016 who were tested for drug use had drugs in their system, which was up from 28 percent a decade ago.
“Intoximeters has long been about keeping roads safe, and this agreement combines more than 70 years of expertise in breath-alcohol testing with Abbott’s proven handheld technology that solves some of today’s most urgent public health and safety challenges,” said Rankine Forrester, chief executive officer, Intoximeters. “By making SoToxa available alongside the Alco-Sensor suite of products, we’re giving law enforcement agencies an end-to-end solution as they grapple with the increase of drugged drivers in their communities.”
“As marijuana legalization gathers momentum in the U.S., legislators and law enforcement have an obligation to keep our roads safe from the growing problem of drug impaired drivers,” said retired Vermont State Police Lieutenant and former Drug Recognition Expert John Flannigan, who now serves as principal at Flannigan Safety Consulting. “This partnership gives law enforcement a true, handheld analyzer that supplements officers’ drug-recognition training backed by real-world usage and numerous scientific studies.”
Intoximeters will have exclusive distribution rights for SoToxa in the United States.
SoToxa™, formerly known as the Alere DDS®2 Mobile Test System, is a portable system designed for rapid screening and detection of drugs in oral fluid. SoToxa is able to generate test results in just five minutes, indicating the presence of amphetamine, benzodiazepines, cannabis (THC), cocaine, methamphetamine, and opiates. In addition, the technology is lightweight, easy to use and built for the rigors of the field. SoToxa is currently being used by law enforcement agencies in countries around the world, including Canada, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among others.
Oral fluid analysis has several advantages for roadside drug testing. Oral fluid collection is non-invasive, relying on a simple swab of the mouth, cheek, and gums to obtain the sample. The sample specimen can be taken at the scene of a traffic stop or crash and does not require same-sex observed collection. It is difficult to adulterate the specimen, and there is no requirement for a medical professional to draw blood, eliminating transport time and costs.
Since 1945, Intoximeters, Inc. has been a leader in the field of breath alcohol testing, continually pioneering and improving upon technology and industry standards. Our instruments are relied upon by law enforcement, major workplace testing organizations, and other testing industries in over 90 countries worldwide.
Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 103,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.