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May 23, 1980

Completeness of Toxicological Analyses-Reply

Author Affiliations

Center for Human Toxicology University of Utah Salt Lake City

JAMA. 1980;243(20):2031. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300460014014

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In Reply.—  The key point made by Goldman and Ingelfinger is that studies that attempt to assess the hazard of any drug and rely heavily on analytical toxicology data can only be accepted as valid if sensitive and specific assays for all drugs that may be encountered in fatal overdose cases are included within the scope of the laboratory analytical methods. This is an important point with which I do not take issue. However, they can be assured that the scope and sensitivity of the screening procedures, and the accuracy and precision of the quantitative assays employed, were carefully evaluated and documented in the original study. These details were not included in the final publication to limit the length of the article and for other editorial reasons. Each laboratory included in the survey met criteria that ensured that all of the commonly encountered and anticipated drugs and their pharmacologically significant