Every year, the annual meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) attracts hundreds of exhibitors whose business is to develop, manufacture, and market products for use in clinical laboratories. At this year’s installment at Chicago’s McCormick Place, 27-31 July, more than 700 companies will be on the show floor.

CLP staff will be also in attendance, ready and eager to review this year’s updated versions of tried-and-true instruments, kits, and reagents already in use by labs—but especially to check out the new products that companies will be exhibiting.

Of course, companies are already stoking the fires of anticipation for their new product launches. For instance, UTAK Laboratories Inc, Valencia, Calif, a leading manufacturer of quality controls, this week announced the release of expanded quality control panels for amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates used in drug screening.


Jim Plutchak

According to UTAK CEO Jim Plutchak, the company’s new controls are responding to a clear but unspoken customer demand. “Through analysis of orders for our custom products, we noticed a trend that laboratories are requesting extensive panels of these controls, all in a single bottle, for ease of use with mass spectrometry or clinical chemistry methodologies,” he says.

The need is growing in part because amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates are being used to treat an increasingly wide group of conditions ranging from narcolepsy to attention deficit hyperactivity disorders and insomnia. But misuse, UTAK notes, can lead to addiction. According to the latest Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration national survey on drug use, prescription drug abuse is an epidemic, with over 2.2 million persons aged 12 or older using psychotherapeutics non-medically for the first time in the past year.1

Testing for prescription drugs demands accuracy so the patient can receive the best possible care. ISO accreditation guidelines note that independent third-party quality controls should be used instead of, or in addition to, any control materials supplied by the reagent or instrument manufacturer.2

For use with any methodology, UTAK’s stock and custom quality controls are sold to toxicology and clinical laboratories globally. For more information on UTAK’s expanded quality control panels for amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates visit UTAK Laboratories Inc, or see the company at AACC booth 4314.


1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.

2. International Standard: Medical Laboratories: Requirements for Quality and Competence. ISO 15189:2012(E)ss5.6.2.2