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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's Time to Buy Stock in MRSA Detectors

Posted By on Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Due to the awesomeness of capitalism, it was only a matter of time until a profitable business sprouted up around MRSA. An article in today's New York Times discusses the success of companies selling MRSA detectors to hospitals nationwide. Cepheid, a Silicon Valley company, makes a nasal swab that detects the infection. Each swab, or "individual test cartridge," costs $42 a pop, while the machine that analyzes the tests costs between $30,000 and $150,000. Cepheid's stock has more than tripled in the last year, and several companies have taken notice, rushing to get similar products on the market. Proponents of testing say the tests will greatly limit infection as MRSA patients can then be isolated and treated individually, while opponents claim the screening is "driven by corporate marketing and a political response to public fear." Dr. Henry F. Chambers, chief of infectious diseases at San Francisco General Hospital, said " his hospital would not have room to isolate all carriers of MRSA. Besides, he added, “there are studies showing that when you isolate patients, doctors and nurses do not go into that room,” and the quality of care declines."— Andy Wright

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Andy Wright


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