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Millennium Laboratories Files Motion to Dismiss Frivolous Whistleblower Suit


7/29/2011 7:46:56 AM

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Millennium Laboratories of California, a leading provider of medication monitoring services and education to physicians and staff treating chronic pain, announced today that it has filed a motion to dismiss a frivolous Whistleblower lawsuit orchestrated by a competitor, Calloway Laboratories.

“Sadly, frivolous litigation is a fact of life for many health care providers,” said Howard Appel, President of Millennium Labs, Inc. “What should matter to clients is how these lawsuits end, not how they begin. Criminal indictments, final judgments and substantial settlements with the government – those are the cases worth paying attention to,” he continued. Appel added, “What is particularly unfortunate about this case is that a competitor invoked limited government resources and threatened physicians in order to pursue their own competitive aims.”

According to Millennium’s filing, “Calloway claimed that Millennium was encouraging physicians to use incorrect billing codes in connection with initial drug screens physicians perform in their office (sometimes referred to as point-of-care testing). The situation became so intolerable that in December 2009 Millennium finally sued Calloway for defamation, seeking an injunction that would bar Calloway from continuing to confuse and mislead current and potential Millennium customers about issues such as billing codes. Within days, Robert Cunningham ("Cunningham"), who happened to be Calloway's compliance officer, filed a qui tam complaint that essentially parroted the same accusations that Calloway had been making in the marketplace and Millennium had challenged in its defamation suit.” The Motion continues, “…this qui tam action appears to be part and parcel with the anti-competitive conduct by Calloway[.]”

Appel continued, “The Department of Justice, in coordination with a handful of state Attorneys General have twice declined to intervene in the case. Now that the case is unsealed and we can respond in a public forum, we filed a motion to dismiss the remaining civil claims. We also intend to ask the Court to impose sanctions on the so-called “whistleblower” by awarding Millennium its attorneys’ fees and cost. We intend to hold Calloway and its attorneys accountable for their vexatious behavior, including this frivolous litigation.”

Furthermore, the motion to dismiss points out that the same cookie-cutter allegations were made in contemporaneous whistleblower lawsuits filed by the same “whistleblower” against many of Calloway’s other competitors, including Ameritox Ltd., Aegis Labs, Avee Labs and Concentra Labs d/b/a Advanced Toxicology Network.

“Many physicians conduct drug testing at point of care; including Calloway’s customers. At the heart of this issue is Millennium’s position that physicians should be fairly reimbursed for performing drug testing at their point of care vs. the position that Calloway takes – that they should not,” Mr. Appel stated.

About Chronic Pain and Medication Monitoring Services

Chronic pain can be a debilitating, complex human condition stemming from any number of medical conditions or injuries which threatens the quality of life for millions of Americans. Fortunately, many patients find relief through various treatments developed over decades including physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mild analgesics. However, a significant portion of those suffering with chronic pain must rely on the use of stronger prescription medications or have their pain go unrelieved. Cost estimates for chronic pain have been estimated at more than $100 billion per year, with many unintended consequences including lost productivity, emotional and physical stress.

Treating chronic pain with opioid medications is a common approach to managing the care of people suffering from this complex human condition. Concomitant effects of chronic pain may include depression, anxiety, addiction, and other psychological or physical diagnoses that lead to additional challenges in the management of a person’s pain. Due to the complex issues experienced when living with a chronic condition, patients may alter their medication regimen, and are sometimes expected to do so in the course of living with chronic pain. In some situations this may include not taking medications as prescribed, taking additional prescription and non-prescription medications, hoarding medications for a time when the pain gets worse, taking more than directed during times of peak pain experiences, or taking illicit drugs.

Monitoring medication adherence with urine drug testing (UDT) helps identify what is happening when behaviors are changing so physicians and patients can make informed decisions during a clinical course correction when adjusting medications for optimal effectiveness. UDT results also provide a powerful communication tool to initiate dialogue about the dangers of misusing prescription medications, taking additional medications, or the use of illicit substances.

About Millennium Laboratories

Located in San Diego’s life sciences cluster, Millennium Laboratories, Inc. is a national, research-based medication monitoring company whose test offerings, technology, customer support, educational resources and experts are specifically focused on clinicians who treat chronic pain. The company is recognized as a leader in pain management services, setting industry standards in drug testing and reporting, clinical research and education. Millennium serves as an industry, government and payer educator and a compassionate advocate for pain sufferers throughout the United States. The company is accredited by The Joint Commission, receiving the Gold Seal of Approval™ for healthcare quality and safety.

Among the numerous scientific and research achievements of the company’s renowned laboratory team, Millennium Laboratories is certified as a training facility for clinical toxicologist scientists and operates as a unique research component of the University of California, San Diego’s (UCSD) doctoral program in Pharmacy.

As part of the company’s commitment to pain management research and education, Millennium Laboratories established the Millennium Research Institute (MRI), a non-profit, national research center that conducts and disseminates original research focused on improving the experiences of people suffering from pain and pain-related disorders. MRI maintains several national academic partnerships and supports collaborative research by accessing Millennium Laboratories’ unique database representing the U.S. pain population. For more information, visit the Millennium Laboratories website, www.becausepainmatters.com.

Contact:

Millennium LaboratoriesHoward Appel, 877-451-3534Presidenthappel@becausepainmatters.comorMedia:Bliss PR, Inc.Chris Seger, 631-428-1517cseger@blisspr.com


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