“April 30, 2001 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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It seems some companies serving the laboratory industry have learned the importance of having a better understanding of the inner workings of Washington, DC. Both Cerner Corporation and Specialty Laboratories, Inc. will add Nancy-Ann DeParle to their respective Boards of Directors. DeParle was Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) from 1997 until October 2000. She is currently a fellow of the Institute of Politics and the Interfaculty Health Policy Forum at Harvard University, her alma mater.


Anatomic pathology remains a growth business for some lab companies. DIANON Systems, Inc. announced first quarter earnings. Revenues grew by 21.1% over the same quarter last year, from $22.1 million to $26.8 million. Net income rose by 63% over the same period, from $1.3 mil- lion to $2.1 million.


Blood bankers will be interested in this recent development. The Medicines Control Council of South Africa earlier this month issued regulatory approval for BioPure Corp.’s Hemopure® blood substitute to be used “in the treatment of acute anemia and avoidance of red blood cells in adult surgery patients.” This is the first product cleared for human use in a new category of intravenously administered pharmaceuticals called “oxygen therapeutics.” Designed to deliver oxygen to the body’s tissues, these products are a sterile alternative to red blood cell transfusion.


Hemopure is derived from red blood cells extracted from cows. The product doesn’t require refrigeration, which makes it suitable for use in remote parts of South Africa where clinics lack refrigeration. Hemorrhage during childbirth is a leading cause of death in Africa. The marketing application in South Africa was based on data from 20 human clinical trials conducted in Europe, Canada, the United States, and South Africa during the last 20 years.


LabCorp Chair and CEO Thomas McMahon will become a director at Express Scripts, Inc., based in St. Louis. Express Scripts is a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) serving 43.5 million members nationwide. THE DARK REPORT has observed that all healthcare e-commerce companies will have to handle lab data to be successful. After all, 70% of the permanent patient health record is made up of clinical lab results. Express Scripts’ interest in having a lab company executive on their Board of Directors illustrates its recognition that lab test data will be important in the future success of the company.


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