Australia and the United States have agreed to establish a pilot program to mandate drug testing of new pharmaceutical manufacturing workers in Australia and other countries.
The move comes after the United Nations Health and Human Services (UNHHS) said that mandatory drug tests could be the most effective way to ensure safe and effective pharmaceuticals in the workplace.
“We believe that the best way to protect workers in the manufacture of drugs is through drug testing,” Dr Andrew Dolan, an expert in human health and human rights at the University of New South Wales, said in a statement.
“That is why we believe that this pilot program should be introduced to all countries in the world.”
Under the pilot program, workers must be tested for the presence of the antibiotic carbapenemimetics, which are used to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis.
The government will fund the cost of the tests, which will be paid for by a $5 billion drug payment scheme.
It is also expected to provide incentives to employers to hire workers with the test results, including for workers in rural areas and regions where the prevalence of drug-resistance is high.
Dr Dolan said it was the first time the government had actually introduced mandatory drug-testing in a manufacturing country.
“The pilot will see this policy expanded to other countries, such as the United Kingdom and France, which have been struggling to find the right balance between drug safety and workforce safety,” he said.
“There is a need for a comprehensive approach to drug safety, which requires mandatory drug screening for all workers.”
These tests will help reduce drug-related deaths in the workforce, and the use of drugs for workplace injuries and fatalities.
“Mr Dolan also said it would not be possible to implement the drug-test pilot in Australia without the agreement of other countries in Europe, which he said was a big deal.”
Australia has already started mandatory drug screens for workers and their families at its mines and in manufacturing facilities. “
Australia is in the midst of a drug-prevention program that is leading the world in preventing the spread of superbugs, and mandatory drug monitoring is an essential tool to achieve that.”
Australia has already started mandatory drug screens for workers and their families at its mines and in manufacturing facilities.
The pilot program is expected to expand to other industries soon.ABC/ReutersTopics:health,work,government-and-politics,human-interest,business-economics-and.financial-market,federal-government,aboratory-science,australia,new-zealandMore stories from New South Wales