Olympus is once again embroiled in controversy following the discovery of emails that show the company pushed up the price of duodenoscopes after the deadly Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteria outbreak at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center, which left three dead, according to an LA Times report.
Here are eight key notes:
1. After the outbreak at Ronald Reagan Medical Center was confirmed, hospital officials asked Olympus for additional duodenoscopes.
2. An email exchange between the scope-maker and medical center shows Olympus offered to sell 35 new scopes for $1.2 million, which is a 28 percent increase from the price it had quoted a few months earlier.
3. The emails show that Olympus continued to push sales of the duodenoscopes even after the discovery of the outbreak in January 2015 and its subsequent linking to improperly cleaned duodenoscopes.
4. The company urged the medical center to buy more scopes to earn a discount, according to the emails, and even chastised two UCLA physicians for not purchasing the amount of equipment that they were contractually obligated to buy from Olympus.
5. Between October 2014 and January 2015, seven patients were infected with CRE due to the Olympus duodenoscopes.
6. The outbreak at UCLA was not the only one caused by duodenoscopes that occurred in 2015. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angles also reported four patients had contracted CRE due to duodenoscopes.
7. A recent Senate report linked Olympus to 19 superbug outbreaks in the United States and Europe over about the last three years.
8. Several UCLA patients and their families have sued Olympus, however, the company responded by blaming UCLA for the infection outbreak, stating in a Los Angeles federal court filing that UCLA did not clean the scopes as per the company's instructions.