Concateno plc

Concateno plc

June 19, 2009 09:06 ET

Concateno Welcomes Funding Boost for Drug Treatment

Blood-borne virus testing highlighted as good practice in reducing drug misuse

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - June 19, 2009) -

Editors Note: There are 2 photos associated with this Press Release

Concateno, Europe's largest provider of drug and alcohol testing services, has welcomed the Department of Health's Pounds Sterling 11.8 million of extra investment for drug treatment services, announced by the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) recently.

The funding announcement follows publication of an NTA report summarising drug treatment good practice. The report highlights the role of blood-borne virus (BBV) testing and vaccination in effective harm reduction. It was produced following a joint review with the Healthcare Commission.

Concateno's healthcare division works extensively with drug treatment services throughout the UK, providing screening for drugs of abuse and BBV testing. As part of this work, Concateno offers oral fluid and dried blood spot screening tests for Hepatitis C that are easy and convenient to use onsite at the actual service, rather than having to make appointments at other clinics.

As testimony to its experience in this area, Concateno has also contributed significant data to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) on the prevalence of BBV infections.

An estimated 190,000 injecting drug users (IDUs) in the UK are those most at risk from BBV infection and of passing these on. The one percent infection rate for the general population increases to between 30 and 70 percent for IDUs, depending on region.

"Treatment for blood-borne viruses is dependent on detection, but this has proved challenging among IDUs," explained Concateno's Sarah Danford, the company's healthcare specialist.

"Techniques such as blood tests are highly effective from a clinical perspective, but less practical when working with those in the grip of drug addiction. These are - for the most part - vulnerable individuals with difficult personal circumstances, for whom keeping a hospital appointment for a blood test may not be a particularly easy option. By comparison, oral fluid testing allows individuals to be screened in a simple, cost-effective and non-invasive manner through a mouth swab.

"Concateno has seen oral fluid testing gaining increasing acceptance in recent years, as its reliability becomes more widely recognised and trusted by practitioners. Crucially, the ease and convenience of both the oral fluid and dried blood spot screening methods is helping to get many more injecting drug users and ex-users screened and into treatment."

Hepatitis C is described as a silent killer, with the fatal symptoms of an infection often taking decades to emerge. According to the HPA report Hepatitis C in the UK, December 2008: "...many (of the) prevalent hepatitis C infections in the UK are thought to have their origins in injecting drug use that emerged in the 1960s and 70s, (so) an increasing trend in hepatitis C-related liver disease is likely to be just becoming apparent."

An introduction to Concateno

Concateno ( brings together the leading drug and alcohol testing organisations in Europe to form a global first in the field: a service provider with the facilities and expertise to genuinely deliver test programmes to meet any requirement - from point-of-care instant tests, through to state-of-the-art laboratory analysis for any biological specimen including urine, oral fluids, hair and sweat.

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