Worksite Nicotine Testing a Growing Trend in Healthcare Premium Differentials and Incentives Planning

Reliable, saliva-based nicotine tests allow for easier, more widespread adoption

SEATTLE, Wash. June 12, 2012 — Employers who offer Alere Wellbeing’s industry-leading Quit For Life® Program can now work directly with the company to order and implement the new Alere™ iScreen® OFD (Oral Fluid Device). The iScreen® OFD is a saliva-based nicotine test that makes worksite nicotine testing reliable and suitable for employers who want to verify tobacco user status for premium differential eligibility. iScreen® OFD, which tests for the nicotine by-product cotinine, was developed by Alere, a global leader in toxicology and diagnostics.

Alere Wellbeing, industry-leading service provider of the Quit For Life® tobacco cessation program, is making the iScreen® OFD available in response to the increasing number of employers who are choosing to implement a premium differential or tobacco surcharge, which may account for as much as 20 percent of the total health insurance premium and increase in 2014 under new regulations associated with the Healthcare Reform Act.

“Given the high dollar value associated with many premium differential and tobacco surcharge programs, there is an increasing trend for employers to implement randomized testing to ensure incentives are allocated appropriately,” said Yuki Yang, Vice President of Client Services at Alere Wellbeing.

iScreen® OFD is registered with the FDA as a diagnostic screen. Professional, trained staff members can conveniently administer onsite tests and obtain accurate results within 10 minutes.

“In the past, collecting urine, blood, and hair for traces of nicotine required specialized collection sites, several procedure steps, and, in the case of urine, a same-sex administrator,” said Sanjay Malkani, Vice President of Alere Toxicology. “In contrast, the highly accurate iScreen® OFD is non-invasive, easy to administer, and provides results within minutes. The test can also be administered without many of the privacy concerns associated with traditional urine testing.”

Laws protecting tobacco users vary by state, and Alere Wellbeing encourages employers to work with their legal counsel when considering nicotine testing at the worksite.

More information about iScreen® OFD and the Quit For Life® tobacco cessation program can be found at or by emailing

About Alere Wellbeing
Alere Wellbeing brings together science, technology, and personal interaction to help people recognize and modify unhealthy behaviors to avoid chronic illness and live longer, more vital lives. Alere Wellbeing’s evidence-based programs address modifiable health risks that contribute to chronic disease: tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and stress. Current clients include 27 state governments and more than 675 health plans and employers, 75 of which are in the Fortune 500. Alere Wellbeing is known and respected for its pay-for-performance business model, intense focus on scalable service quality, dedicated account management, continuous program improvement, and transparent reporting of measurable outcomes at the individual participant and aggregate population level. Alere Wellbeing has contributed to more than 100 published research studies and maintains an active research program funded by the Centers for Disease Control, American Legacy Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. More information about Alere Wellbeing can be found at

About Alere
By developing new capabilities in near-patient diagnosis, monitoring and health management, Alere enables individuals to take charge of improving their health and quality of life at home. Alere’s global leading products and services, as well as its new product development efforts, focus on cardiology, infectious disease, toxicology, diabetes, oncology and women’s health. Alere is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. For more information regarding Alere please visit

For More Information:
Sharen Ross
Alere Wellbeing
(206) 876-2276