Talk:Presumptive and confirmatory tests

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The Federal Drug Administration issued a Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff entitled Premarket Submission and Labeling Recommendations for Drugs of Abuse Screening Tests. Its availability was announced in the Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 231 on Tuesday, December 2, 2003 and is listed under Notices. It is important to understand presumptive testing because of its wide-spread use by employers and public entities. Most people who take a drug test will take a presumptive test because it is cheaper and faster than other methods of testing. However, it is not as accurate and can render false results. You could lose your job if a test produces false results. The FDA recommends confirmatory testing to always be conducted and further recommends a placing a warning label on the presumptive drug test that reads, "This assay provides only a preliminary result. Clinical consideration and professional judgment should be applied to any drug of abuse test result, in evaluating a preliminary positive result. To obtain a confirmed analytical result, a more specific alternate chemical method is needed. Gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) is the recommended confirmatory method. The definition using the terms "not certain" and "probably" is accurate. Even if it sounds funny. That's science. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kellymarie1975 (talkcontribs) 19:22, 5 May 2010 (UTC)



I agree with your tagging of Presumptive test but wouldn't it be more constructive to mend the article than tagging it and leaving it to others to fix the problem?

Ewen 14:40, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the comment on my discussion page. I am glad that we agree about the tag. The reason I knew the presumptive test lacked context was because I'm not an expert in the subject, and I couldn't grasp quite what field was even being discussed (apparently it's medical and forensic science.) As I think most people would agree, an article should generally make sense to non-experts. Though I'd say the article could still use further clarification, I'll leave the work to an expert. So in summary, not knowing the subject doesn't mean I can't plainly see that it lacks context. I'm sure you'd rather have somebody qualified taking care of the article's actual content than have a baffled general reader grope in the dark for an answer, right? 17:13, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
(Retrieved from "" - I hope you don't mind but it makes the conversation easier to follow if it's all in one place. I'll watch this page...)
It's difficult from my perspective (close to the subject) to see what an outside observer (e.g. yourself) might see. What questions came to mind? Ask them on the talk page for the article and it would be easy to correct the problem. What clarification do you think is necessary? The article's just a stub right now - I thought it would be easier to find examples, having seen the term 'presumptive test' everywhere I thought it needed an article, but now I can't find the phrase at all! Ho hum...
Ewen 19:05, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
The main question in my mind is, what kinds of samples are involved in a presumptive test (there seems to be a wide range of sample articles.) Also, does a presumptive diagnosis really fall in under this definition? I've copied the discussion to the article itself from my IP's talk page, seems like the best place to discuss it. 14:13, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Preliminary testing is what is most valuable in a lab. If this is not done first, then the outcome may be thrown off. Although science is based off of mostly hypothesis' eventually one is proven to be true, making it indeed a subject — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:54, 10 March 2017 (UTC)