Sonic purchased Piedmont Medical Laboratory of Winchester, Virginia, and Axiom Laboratories, of Tampa, Florida
Yesterday, Sonic Healthcare, Ltd., of Sydney, Australia, officially recognized the acquisition of two clinical laboratories in the United States: Piedmont Medical Laboratory of Winchester, Virginia, and Axiom Laboratories, of Tampa. The Axiom transaction was closed earlier this summer.
For both labs, Sonic will pay $20 million in cash and could pay $2.5 million more in performance-based bonuses over the next two years. As an indication of current pricing for laboratory services, the $20 million purchase price bought Sonic a total of approximately $16 million in annual revenue.
Officials in Mexico were criticized as being slow to respond to the spread of A/H1N1 swine flu on Tuesday, April 28. Mexico was reported to have failed to deliver medicine to the families of the dead, two weeks after the first confirmed death from the flu, the Associated Press reported. Also, the government had not determined where the outbreak began or how it spread, the AP said. In Mexico, 159 people may have died of swine flu, but only seven of these deaths have been verified as A/H1N1 by laboratory tests, the New York Times reported today (April 29).
More confirmed influenza cases in the United States
This Dark Daily follows up the special ALERT distributed last Friday afternoon about the emergence of a new strain of influenza in Mexico. The following day, Saturday, the World Health Organization issued a statement declaring that the new strain of flu virus is “a public health emergency of international concern.” Medical laboratories should be informed about these events.
In the United States, on Sunday the Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in the United States. At the same time, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano downplayed this declaration, characterizing it as a “standard operating procedure.” The clearer truth of the situation was acknowledged by Richard Besser, M.D. Acting Chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who told the press that “We do think this will continue to spread but we are taking aggressive actions to minimize the impact on people’s health.”
These are just two of the many remarkable developments. In the 48 hours since the first Dark Daily ALERT, the running total of deaths attributed to the A/H1N1 influenza virus in Mexico has climbed regularly, as has the total number of confirmed cases. For example, at one point on Sunday, the Associated Press said that Mexican health authorities were reporting 1,614 suspected cases of swine flu that included 103 deaths. It is likely that, whenever you read this Dark Daily e-briefing, there will news of a greater number of swine flu cases in Mexico.