“November 14, 2005 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Home screening for colon cancer is about to commence on a large scale in the United Kingdom. Beginning in April 2006, two million people between the ages of 60 and 69 will be sent test kits every second year. Consumers will receive Fecal Occult Blood (FOB) test kits. They will collect their own specimens and forward them to one of five laboratories designated to conduct the test. It will cost an estimated US$65.3 million to conduct the program during its first two years.

MORE ON: Home Testing

The United Kingdom effort mirrors a similar colorectal home screening project in the United States. Earlier this year, Cigna HealthCare and Quest Diagnostics Incorporated launched a pilot project to mail diagnostic colorectal tests to about 40,000 members in the CIGNA Health- Care of Florida HMO who are 50 or more years old and have not had a colorectal cancer screening. This pilot project is estimated to cost $40,000 and will be jointly paid by Cigna and Quest Diagnostics.


Recruiting laboratory staff will become easier as the laboratory industry learns more about the new “.jobs” suffix, which is available for use on the Internet. Earlier this year, ICANN, the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers, approved two new suffixes. One is “.jobs” and the other is “.travel.” Essentially, these suffixes will be used after the company’s domain name and will help job seekers find postings for available positions. URLs like www.microsoft.jobs or www. intel.jobs are already active and connect the searcher with job postings at those two companies.

ADD TO: .jobs

These two new suffixes show how the Internet is evolving. They were created because companies and job searchers both needed a more uniform method to post and access job listings. Since these suffixes can only be used in conjunction with a company’s existing domain name, they provide an indication of how additional suffixes may be developed to create uniformity in Web site design and function. THE DARK REPORT would be interested to hear from any laboratory, pathology group, or lab vendor that already uses the “.jobs” suffix as part of its recruitment program.


Competition in drugs-of-abuse testing remains intense. MEDTOX Scientific, Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota announced FDA clearance of its new Sure-Screen® drugs-of-abuse point-of-collection test (POCT) device. MedTox says that clinical studies support the ability of Sure-Screen technology to provide lower detection levels, by an average of approximately 50% each, for marijuana, opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, methadone, benzodiazepines, methamphetamines, and MDMA-Ecstasy. MedTox believes there will be strong demand for a POCT device with a broad, 8-drug test panel and lower detection levels.


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