May 29, 2018 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

Ireland is dealing with a cervical cancer screening scandal that reaches back to laboratories in the United States. In recent months, the Irish public has learned that more than 200 women wrongly got negative Pap test results over a multi-year period. Many of these women did not learn of the erroneous test results for years after the government health service was aware of the problem. Ireland outsourced all of its cervical cancer screening in 2008 to Quest Diagnostics in the United States. (See TDR, Aug. 31, 2009.) In 2010, Sonic Healthcare’s Clinical Pathology Laboratories division in Austin, Texas, won a contract to provide a significant volume of the cervical cancer screening tests for Ireland’s Health Service Executive.

MORE ON: Pap Testing in Ireland

Back in 2008, it was a controversial decision for the Irish health system to outsource cervical cancer screening to labs in other nations. CervicalCheck is the name of Ireland’s national cervical cancer screening program and, at its inception, CervicalCheck had critics who pointed out flaws in the plan to offer free cervical cancer screening services to Irish women. There are many important nuances to this story for pathologists in the United States. More detailed coverage will be provided by THE DARK REPORT in coming months.


Sanford Health of Fargo, N.D., is preparing to offer a genetic test panel to patients visiting its primary care clinics. The test will cost $49 and will look for the patient’s predisposition to 60 genetic diseases and 30 different drug-gene interactions.


  • OPKO Health, Inc. announced that Geoff Monk is the new General Manager of its Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. division. Monk formerly held executive positions at Quest Diagnostics, Shering-Plough, and Glaxo-Wellcome.
  • Aurora Diagnostics of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., promoted Bruce Walton to the position of President and COO. He was formerly Executive Vice President and COO at Aurora. Prior to Aurora, Walton served at AmeriPath and CR Baird.

That’s all the insider intelligence for this report.
Look for the next briefing on Monday, June 18, 2018.

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…a new study of prostate cancer in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer deaths in the UK now outnumber deaths from breast cancer. Also, Orchid, a UK male cancer charity, reported that 37% of prostate cancers are now diagnosed at stage 3 or 4.

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