Quest Diagnostic’s Problem with Inaccurate Vitamin D Results was First Reported by THE DARK REPORT

PRESS RELEASE
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Ron Martin
rbmartin@darkreport.com

AUSTIN, Texas (January 12, 2009) — Last week, it was national news when Quest Diagnostics Incorporated acknowledged it had reported inaccurate Vitamin D tests on tens of thousands of patients during 2007-2008 and was conducting a patient recall/retest program. This story was first uncovered and reported by the lab industry’s reliable source for lab business intelligence, THE DARK REPORT, in its December 22, 2008 issue.

Since THE DARK REPORT’S breakthrough reporting of this story, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has acknowledged that problems with its home brew liquid chromatography—tandem mass spectrometry assay meant that, for a period staring in early 2007 and lasting through mid-2008, approximately 7% of all Vitamin D test results it reported to patients were erroneous.  Starting in October, 2008, Quest Diagnostics says it began notifying physicians and patients of the inaccurate test results and offering a retest at no charge.

These revelations triggered intense media coverage of this extraordinary story. The New York Times published its story on inaccurate Vitamin D results on January 8. Within 24 hours, USA Today, Reuters, Associated Press, and Bloomberg had filed stories. Newspapers in communities across the nation carried stories on the Quest Diagnostics’ problems with Vitamin D testing and how inaccurate results may have affected patients. On January 9, ABC television’s Good Morning America aired a three-minute segment titled “How Accurate Are Blood Tests?”

Follow up coverage on this important laboratory industry story is in the January 12, 2009 issue of THE DARK REPORT. THE DARK REPORT is predicting that public reaction to revelations that the nation’s largest laboratory company had reported large numbers of inaccurate Vitamin D tests to patients for a period as long as one and one-half years will trigger several fundamental changes to the current status quo in the laboratory testing marketplace. One change is that now patients are being educated, by news coverage, that they should not trust all labs to be equal in quality and accuracy—that one lab’s test result may not be of equal accuracy and quality as a lab test from another laboratory.

Second, Quest Diagnostic’s decision to create a home brew for a very high volume Vitamin D testing program, rather than using the FDA-cleared assay for Vitamin D which has broad acceptance by clinicians and laboratories, may be a trigger for Congress to authorize more control by the FDA over laboratory-developed tests (LDTs, or home brews).

Editors, reporters and writers wanting full access to the editorial reporting of THE DARK REPORT on this important lab industry story can contact either Ron Martin or Editor Robert L. Michel at the offices of THE DARK REPORT by calling 512-264-7103 or emailing rbmartin@darkreport.com and rmichel@darkreport.com. Visit the Web sites of www.darkreport.com and darkdaily.com to find relevant news coverage about Quest Diagnostics’ problems with Vitamin D testing.

For additional information, Contact: Ron Martin, 512-264-7103

 

About THE DARK REPORT
Established in 1995, THE DARK REPORT is the leading source of exclusive business intelligence for laboratory CEOs, COOs, CFOs, Pathologists and Senior industry executives. It is widely-read by leaders in laboratory medicine and diagnostics. The Dark Report produces the famous Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management every spring, which showcases innovations by the nation’s and globe’s leading laboratory organizations. Dark Daily is an Internet-based e-briefing intelligence service, read worldwide by thought leaders in laboratory and pathology management. Other well-known conferences conducted by THE DARK REPORT are Lab Quality Confab (on the use of Lean and Six Sigma methods in labs and hospitals), Molecular Summit (on the integration of in vivo and in vitro diagnostics). THE DARK REPORT co-produces Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine annually in the United Kingdom; Executive Edge bi-annually in Canada; and The Business of Pathology bi-annually in Australia.

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