Month: April 2006

Labs Poised to Add Value to Docs and Patients

CAREFULLY READ OUR COVERAGE AND ANALYSIS about cytochrome P450 (CYP450) testing on pages 2-9. CYP450 testing is likely to be one of the most important developments in laboratory medicine in the past two decades. I say that for two reasons. First, test panels designed to detect multiple polymorphisms in cytochrome P450 will allow physicians to …

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CYP450 Testing To Have Major Clinical Impact

CEO SUMMARY: Pharmacogenomics, companion diagnostics, “personalized prescription drug therapy”—by any name, use of molecular diagnostics to guide clinicians in the prescribing and dosing of drugs is about to expand exponentially. Some experts predict that CYP450 testing alone will be a $1 billion business for labs in just a few years. Here’s a look at the forces driving this …

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CYP450 Plays Major Role In Drug Metabolization

CEO SUMMARY: Each year, over 100 million new prescriptions are written for two classes of drugs with metabolic pathways affected by genetic variations in cytochrome P450. There are strong clinical arguments in favor of testing individuals for these genetic mutations to determine whether they are no, slow, or ultra-fast metabolizers of these drugs, before writing …

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Payers Want Patients to Shop Prices at Doctors’ Offices

PRICE SHOPPING BY PATIENTS is getting major encouragement from the nation’s largest health insurance companies. But the big surprise is the proactive steps some insurers are taking to involve patients in decisions about their healthcare. Take, for instance, a service that will let patients enter the name of a drug into the Web browser of …

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Placenta Registry Stirs Unwarranted Controversy

CEO SUMMARY: On the surface, the “exposé” published by The Oregonian newspaper on February 12 seemed designed to sensationalize an effort by local obstetricians, hospitals, and pathologists to do a better job of evaluating placentas taken from patients who had experienced a difficult birth as an arrangement intended to provide a defense in malpractice cases. …

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New Guidelines to Require Single-Patient Hospital Rooms

PATIENT SAFETY INITIATIVES are about to trigger another major change to the American healthcare system—a standard for single-room occupancy in hospitals. On March 22, 2006, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) are preparing to issue new guidelines for hospital construction. Due out …

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Victorville Community Hospital, Quest Diagnostics, ASCP, MIME

ASCP ACQUIRES MIME’S CYTOLOGY TRAINING AND PROFICIENCY TESTING IT WAS A BIG BREAK for pathologists and cytotechnologists involved in Pap testing. In a deal announced at the end of February, the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) has acquired “the complete cytology product line of the Midwest Institute for Medical Education (MIME).” This eases some …

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April 10, 2006 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Another private lab company appears to have sold for a strong price. On March 21, 2006, American Capital Strategies Ltd. of Bethesda, Maryland, announced that it had invested $79.5 million in Redwood Toxicology Laboratory Inc., a drugs-of-abuse testing laboratory based in Santa Rosa, California. The financing pack- age includes a revolving credit facility, senior subordinated …

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