Federal Court Dismisses Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Millennium Laboratories
SAN DIEGO, Feb. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On January 30, 2012, US District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro ordered the complete dismissal of a whistleblower suit against Millennium Laboratories brought by a former Calloway Laboratories' senior officer. Although the Department of Justice had previously stated publicly twice that it was not intervening in the lawsuit, and consented to its dismissal in a January court filing, the case was nonetheless pursued for nearly a year as a civil matter by Calloway's proxy. By dismissing the case with prejudice, the Court barred any copy-cat lawsuits and the government's investigation of the case is now over.
"Millennium feels vindicated by the Judge's ruling that finally brings closure to an unfortunate distraction from our mission to improve the lives of those suffering from chronic pain," said Howard Appel, President of Millennium Laboratories.
Appel continued, "The fact that certain labs continue to promote uncompetitive behavior including Calloway's sponsorship of frivolous whistleblower lawsuits against Millennium and four other laboratories is a good indication that this industry needs to establish clear standards of conduct. To this end, we challenge each and every lab in this space to, as a minimum, follow Millennium's lead and immediately adopt the Office of Inspector General's Compliance Program Guidance for Clinical Laboratories."
To achieve this goal, Millennium announced the provision of a grant to Dr. Richard Payne, Professor of Medicine and Divinity, Duke University, to chair a stakeholders summit inviting leading pain and physician associations, regulators, and other stakeholders to establish clear and specific guidelines to which each laboratory can be held accountable. Dr. Payne is a well-respected expert in pain, palliative care and bioethics and was past chair of the American Pain Society.
The establishment of voluntary ethical guidelines for industry is not without precedent. In 2002, in response to significant criticism from physicians, regulators, legislators and the public, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) issued a set of guidelines for its member companies to follow when it comes to the marketing practices between pharmaceutical manufacturers and physicians (www.phrma.org). In 2003, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) adopted a similar code of ethics on interactions with healthcare professionals for its member companies in the medical device industry (www.advamed.org). Both PhRMA and AdvaMed periodically update their guidelines as new compliance issues arise.
"As an advocate for integrity and ethics in the healthcare industry for many years, I am enthusiastic to chair this summit." said Richard Payne, MD. "It is my goal to convene a stakeholders working group as soon as practicable with the purpose of delineating and disseminating an ethical code of conduct broadly accepted by the range of national pain societies; increasing awareness of expected laboratory conduct among physicians and other prescribers, and dramatically reducing the number of unethical practices by those companies seeking an unfair advantage."
Millennium's Commitment to Compliance policy is publicly available on the company website at www.becausepainmatters.com.
About Millennium Laboratories:
Millennium Laboratories is located in San Diego's life sciences cluster and is the leading research-based clinical diagnostic company dedicated to improving the lives of people suffering from pain. The company provides healthcare professionals with the scientific data, clinical tools and services that help personalize treatment plans to improve clinical outcomes and patient safety.
The company utilizes leading technology and proprietary methodologies to provide some of the fastest and most reliable medication monitoring results via both urine drug testing (UDT) and oral fluid testing. Test results are backed by expert toxicologists, clinical guidance and dedicated customer service.
Millennium's commitment to advancing the science and the field of pain management also includes a strong focus on the advancement of industry research, education and advocacy. Through its association with the Millennium Research Institute, a nonprofit national research center, it has quickly gained respect as a leader in toxicology, pharmacology and pain management research and education, providing healthcare professionals with innovative research to advance the assessment and management of chronic pain.
SOURCE Millennium Laboratories