Olympus on the defensive after new allegations tie duodenoscopes to superbug outbreak — 6 insights

Olympus Corp. issued a statement defending its duodenoscopes after a piece from The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists tied contaminated scopes to more than 190 superbug infections, The Japan Times reports.

Here's what you should know:

1. ICIJ tied Olympus' TJF-Q180V duodenoscopes to superbug outbreaks between 2012 and 2015. ICIJ also discovered an email from a Tokyo-based Olympus executive sent to an Olympus Corp. of the Americas' executive in which the Tokyo executive said, "It is not need (sic) to communicate to all the users actively," about the possible duodenoscope infections.

He continued, "You should communicate with the user who has asked a question."

2. The superbugs have been tied to more than 190 people and 17 medical organizations in the U.S., Netherlands, France and Germany.

3. Olympus responded to the report with a statement saying, "The evidence does not support claims that the infections were caused by Olympus product designs or instructions for use."

4. Olympus reasserted its scopes were safe and effective, "when properly used."

5. Olympus is facing several civil suits in the U.S. in relation to the duodenoscopes and said it would be "inappropriate" to comment further.

6. Issues regarding Olympus' duodenoscopes began in January 2010. An FDA report alleged up to 350 people from 41 facilities worldwide were either exposed to or infected by contaminated scopes in five years.

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