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Official: Pilots not tested for fentanyl due to system ‘lag’

CENTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A federal transportation safety official says screening commercial pilots for fentanyl is not yet under consideration, even after one fatally overdosed on the painkiller at his Ohio home.

Mary Pat McKay, chief medical officer for the National Transportation Safety Board, told the Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/2osYpWZ ) that some board members would support fentanyl testing if federal health officials certify screening protocols. She spoke to the newspaper after a Spirit Airlines pilot overdosed in Centerville, about 49 miles (79 kilometers) north of Cincinnati.

Many transportation employees are screened for drugs including marijuana and cocaine. The Department of Transportation is currently considering adding tests for some opioids that don’t include fentanyl.

McKay says fentanyl wasn’t as widespread when the proposal was drafted. She says “the system is always going to lag behind.”

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Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com

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