Drugs test firm Cozart hit by orders slowdown

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The Independent Online

The drugs-testing firm Cozart issued a profits warning yesterday after a slower than expected uptake of drugs-testing kits used in police custody.

The drugs-testing firm Cozart issued a profits warning yesterday after a slower than expected uptake of drugs-testing kits used in police custody.

The company manufactures kits which enable Class A drugs such as heroine, crack and cocaine to be detected in saliva within minutes.

Dr Christopher Hand, managing director of Cozart, said: "Our estimates of the number of orders for test kits were higher than the number of orders we are actually receiving, but it's an issue of timing. We supply to large customers such as the Home Office, the Forensic Science Service and various drug dependency units and our orders come through in bulk.

"At the moment we are experiencing a slowdown, but we expect new orders for kits to come through within the next few months."

Cozart secured a four-year deal with the Home Office last July to provide a saliva-testing kit called Rapsiscan, which enables Class A drugs to be detected on the spot. It is being used in 173 police custody suites in England and Wales.

Dr Hand said he was confident that the demand for drugs-testing kits would increase in the UK, but meanwhile the company was expanding in Europe, supplying roadside tests to forces in Italy and having kits trialled in France.

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