Cancer test company Grail, Inc. said Friday its telemedicine vendor had mistakenly sent form letters to about 400 patients, telling them they may have cancer.
Grail, which is owned by San Diego-based biotechnology company Illumina, told Fox News Digital that all the patients were informed immediately of the mistake and it “was in no way related to or caused by an incorrect Galleri test result,” Reuters reported.
The company’s Galleri blood test can detect more than 50 types of cancer.
The incorrect form letters were sent out between May 10 and 18, Grail said.
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The company began to reach out to patients by phone and all of them were reached eventually by phone, email or letter to inform them of the mistake.
“GRAIL has confirmed that the issue was in no way related to or caused by an incorrect Galleri laboratory test result,” the company said in a release sent to Fox News Digital. “The incorrect letter from PWNHealth was inadvertently triggered by PWNHealth’s software configuration issue, which has now been disabled.”
More than half of the patients had not yet taken their blood test, the company said, adding that there were no breaches of private patient information or any patient harm caused by the issue.
“As a patient-focused company, GRAIL takes seriously our commitment to ensure reliable and accurate Galleri test results and the highest quality experience for our patients,” the company said. “To that end, GRAIL has numerous quality control processes to ensure that Galleri test results meet our rigorous reliability and accuracy requirements.”
In April Illumina announced it is appealing the Federal Trade Commission’s order that it divest from its acquisition of Grail.
The FTC said the $7.1 billion acquisition “would stifle competition and innovation in the U.S. market for life-saving cancer tests.”
Illumina in an April press release argued it would actually “expand the availability, affordability and profitability of the groundbreaking Galleri test in the $44-plus billion multi-cancer screening market.”
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