Secret Meeting Between Scientists and Thought Leaders at Harvard to Discuss Creating Synthetic Human Genome Sparks Controversy; Were Pathologists in Attendance?

The idea that human beings could be created without biological parents sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but it’s not, and the technology could be available in the not so distant future

It’s not known how many pathologists and clinical chemists were in attendance at a secret meeting that took place in Boston in May, which was organized to investigate the feasibility of building a synthetic human genome.

Nearly 150 scientists, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and ethicists met in a closed-door session at Harvard Medical School to discuss creating a synthetic human genome. Although this meeting was secret, people took notice. The possibility of using a synthetic genome to create human beings—without biological parents—understandably caused concern among the life science communities, the New York Times reported, and the apparent secrecy fueled speculation that ignited controversy, which spread rapidly. (more…)

Good News for Honest Clinical Laboratories: Federal Fraud Case in New Jersey Brings More Convictions and Indictments of Doctors Who Accepted Illegal Inducements

Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services fraud case continues to bring more criminal convictions of physicians in a rare case of tough federal enforcement of anti-kickback laws

There’s good news for sales representatives who work for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups and regularly run up against the sales practices of shyster labs that offer inducements to that class of doctors who are open to personal enrichment by accepting different forms of kickbacks in return for lab test referrals.

The good news comes from New Jersey, where one U.S. attorney has prosecuted dozens of doctors who accepted various illegal inducements and bribes from BioDiagnostic Laboratory Services Inc. (BLS) of Parsippany, the discredited lab company that was closed in 2012 after it was indicted by Paul J. Fishman, the U.S. attorney for Newark.

The most recent conviction was announced in April, 2016, when another New Jersey physician pleaded guilty in the continuing clinical laboratory fraud case involving BLS.

Gary Safier, MD, pleaded guilty to taking bribes in excess of $350,000 over a period of seven years. He was sentenced to two years in prison and, upon release, will have to perform an additional two years of supervised release. He was also instructed to forfeit the $353,000 he received for his role in the scam. (more…)