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The State

July 28, 1988

A laboratory run by one of the nation's top drug-testing companies routinely sacrificed quality for profit and frequently lost specimens, a former employee charged. Testifying before the House investigations subcommittee, Dolly Scott said she became appalled at the "unconscionable quality" of testing at the San Diego branch of National Health Laboratories. Scott, who contended that she lost her job because of her frequent complaints, said she agreed to testify because she was "frightened at the potential consequences to the public if practices such as those I encountered . . . are permitted to continue unchecked." Scott told the panel that the San Diego lab lost more than 100 specimens--including urine samples--in April, 1985, frequently misplaced work sheets used to track test results and often mishandled samples. "Profit seemed to be the only consideration," she said. The firm denied her claims.

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