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$302m Quest settlement ‘no concern’ for National Cancer Screening Service

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Quest Diagnostics, which provides the laboratory services for the CervicalCheck screening programme, has agreed to pay $302 million (€231 million) to settle damages in the US over faulty test devices.

The multi-million dollar settlement relates to the failure of test kits developed through the now-defunct Nichols Institute Diagnostics – a subsidiary of the US company, and ends a five-year-old investigation.

A spokesperson for the National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS) told IMN it has been aware of the legal issues relating to Quest Diagnostics, adding the Service has been happy with the company’s performance under the contract for cervical smear tests.

“As far as we’re concerned, this is something that’s quite historic. We have a very clear contract with Quest, operational since last September, and we’re very pleased with the terms of that contract and the progress of that contract,” the NCSS spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for Quest Diagnostics stressed the problem had nothing to do with its cervical screening and cytology services used by the NCSS.

“This is not related and is completely separate to the screening services and the whole cytology end of things,” they said.

Demand for the CervicalCheck programme had been exceeding NCSS forecasts, with an average of 1,000 women a day going to GPs, Well Woman centres or family planning clinics for screening, the NCSS spokesperson added.

 

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