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January 15 2014

The Role of the Medical Review Officer (MRO) in International Workplace Drug Testing

The role of the Medical Review Officer (MRO) internationally may evolve differently than the role of the MRO in the United States based on practical, cultural and legal considerations. It would be presumptuous, impractical and likely imprudent to assume that the United States ' MRO process will be the best model for international test review. In fact, in a review of 200 countries, a Drug and Alcohol Industry research team found information on the role of the MRO in only 36 countries or 18% of the 200 countries researched. This is because the information available through accepted legal research practices is insufficient due to the need for practical in country information. The MRO process in the U.S. could be a good starting point for the global community as it looks at workplace drug testing. In providing MRO support in various countries the MRO must anticipate how to handle certain situations that may or may not arise based on the historical experience in North America. Some of these resolutions are well established when providing MRO review in North America but may not be established for practice elsewhere. As a best practice, it is important that employers establish a policy that is consistent with local law and regulations prior to program implementation. By so doing, the MRO can review a specific result in compliance with employer 's policy and program.