Randox Health

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Randox Health also known as Randox Laboratories or Randox Toxicology/Randox Food Diagnostics or simply Randox, is an international health and toxicology company in the in vitro diagnostics industry headquartered in the UK. The world's first biochip array technology developer, the company develops diagnostic solutions for hospitals, clinical, research and molecular labs, food testing, forensic toxicology, veterinary labs and life sciences. It develops, manufactures and markets reagents and equipment for laboratory medicine, with a distribution network of 145 countries. Randox is the biggest polymerase chain reaction testing provider in the UK and Ireland.[2][3][4][5] Randox received three contracts by the Department of Health and Social Care without having to compete for a tender.

Randox Laboratories
TypePrivate limited company
Founded1982
FounderPeter FitzGerald
Headquarters,
Number of locations
145 countries
Key people
Robert Ivan McConnel (Co-owner)
Richard Kelly (Co-owner)
David Ferguson (Managing Director)
RevenueIncrease £118,000,000 (2018)[1]
Increase £167,000 (2018)
Total assetsDecrease £47,700,000 (2018)
Websitewww.randox.com

In 2020, Randox was awarded nearly £500 million by the UK government to provide private-sector COVID-19 testing at the cost of about £49 per kit.[6] The company has signed a two-year deal with the British Olympic Association to test the British Team for COVID-19.

It is the official sponsor of the Randox Health Grand National from 2017.

Company profileEdit

Randox was established in 1982 by Dr Peter FitzGerald in Crumlin, Northern Ireland, and has since expanded globally.[7]

Randox claims to manufacture more clinical diagnostic products than any other company in the world[citation needed]. It invests around 25% of profits into R&D, and almost a quarter of its staff are research scientists and engineers.[8]

Following the development of Randox Health - the first public facing division - the company became the title sponsor of the Randox Health Grand National.

Research and developmentEdit

Beginning with a team of six employees, the company now has 1500 employees around the world. It moved into the Randox Science Park, a 45-acre R&D and manufacturing site housed on the former Massereene Barracks in 2019.

It has also recently[when?] invested €25m in developing a site in Dungloe, Donegal. Randox Teoranta aims to create more than 470 jobs in research, engineering and life sciences by 2020.[citation needed]

Randox's range of reagents covers many different techniques such as colorimetric, UV and immunoturbidimetric methods. As a result of heavy investment in R&D, Randox's portfolio has grown to provide a wider variety of reagents.[citation needed]

Randox has become a leading specialist in developing dedicated reagents to work on competitor systems, including Dimension and Hitachi.[9]

ProductsEdit

Biochip array technologyEdit

Randox developed the world's first biochip array technology (BAT) in 2002. BAT is a multi-analyte testing platform which allows simultaneous quantitative or qualitative detection of a wide range of analytes from a single patient sample. It screens biological samples in a rapid, accurate and easy-to-use format. £180 million was invested in research and development of BAT.[citation needed]

With the development of the biochip, analysers were created to handle the biochip in a high throughput routine laboratory. The analyser range expanded from the evidence, to include the evidence evolution, evidence investigator and evidence multistat.[10]

Clinical chemistry analysersEdit

Randox's range of clinical chemistry analysers, the RX Series, accommodates low- to high-throughput laboratories. The RX monza, RX daytona, RX daytona plus, RX imola, RX Monaco and RX suzuka are marketed as 'An attempt to consolidate a laboratory's requirements onto one platform'. The throughput of the range varies, with the RX monza having the capability of up to 10,000 tests per year and the RX suzuka having up to 1,000,000 tests per year.[11][12][13]

Quality controlEdit

Randox claims to be the third-largest health manufacturer of quality controls and calibrators in the world.[citation needed] It specialises in third-party controls that combine many analytes into a single control with the aim of consolidation. Covering over 390 parameters, the Acusera-branded portfolio of QC products supplies 1,000 customers worldwide with QC material. Principal control products include clinical chemistry, immunoassay, urine, cardiac, as well as numerous other research based areas.[14]

Acusera 24.7 Live Online is an inter-laboratory data management program, with the purpose of supporting the Acusera range of controls.[14][15]

RIQASEdit

Randox International Quality Assessment Scheme (RIQAS) is the external quality assessment (EQA) scheme supplied by Randox. RIQAS is the largest international EQA scheme with more than 20,000 laboratory participants in over 123 countries. There are currently 32 programmes available spanning most areas of clinical testing.[16] RIQAS is also ISO 13485 and UKAS accredited.[17][18]

ControversiesEdit

Discrimination towards employeesEdit

Several legal actions were taken by man employees against the company. An employee filed a lawsuit against Randox after being discriminated against because of his weight.[19] In addition, its former international business manager was also fired because after being praised for his efforts in India and for a presentation on the business plan for Randox. The tribunal awarded him over £70,000 for Randox's unfair dismissal.[20]

With the support of Unite legal services, a female Randox employee sued Randox after a dispute over maternity pay. The court was in favour of her and granted her compensations.[21]

Coronavirus testing contractEdit

In March 2019 it was reported that former cabinet minister and Conservative MP Owen Paterson, who was a consultant to Randox, had helped to lobby the government to seek contracts for them. This violates rules stating that an MP may not lobby on behalf of a paying client.[22]

In May 2020, the company was awarded a £133 million contract by The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) without having to compete for a tender. When asked if Paterson had lobbied on behalf of the company a spokesman for DHSC said they were "unable to comment on the personnel matters of other organisations".[23]

On 7 August 2020, the United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency requested Randox to recall the Randox COVID-19 Home Testing Kit due to safety concerns in a measure it described as precautionary.[24]

On November 4, 2020, the UK awarded a 6-month extension of the original contract for £347m in COVID-19 testing without a public tender.[6] On November 16, Channel 4's Dispatches said that Randox were managing test processing facilities in a manner which could lead to people not receiving test results, cross contamination through the leaking of test results, and workers facing unsafe conditions;[25] however, Randox denies these claims.[26]

Data tamperingEdit

In February 2017, two Randox employees were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice amid allegations of data tampering within Randox Testing Services, used by many Police Forces in England and Wales for forensic toxicology. Randox acquired this laboratory in Manchester from Trimega laboratories which went into administration in 2014.[27] As of November 2017, around 50 criminal prosecutions for driving offences had been dropped in what BBC home affairs correspondent, Danny Shaw, described as "the biggest forensic science scandal in the UK for decades".[28] Police forces have begun reviewing over 10,000 criminal cases that may be affected by the alleged data manipulation, including sexual and violent crimes.[29]

Language PolicyEdit

In April 2021, Randox posted notices in its Donegal Gaeltacht facility forbidding employees from speaking any language other than English in the workplace. The company receives significant funding from Údarás na Gaeltachta, which is charged with industrial development in Irish-speaking areas. When challenged, the company withdrew the notices, but the matter received significant attention in the Irish media.[30]

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ "Randox: Healthcare diagnostics group returns to profit". BBC News. 8 October 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  2. ^ 18 March 2011 – Foster announces 242 new jobs at Randox Laboratories | Northern Ireland Executive. Northernireland.gov.uk (18 March 2011).
  3. ^ Proteome Sciences Licenses Stroke Biomarkers to Randox Archived 26 January 2013 at archive.today. IVD Technology (5 April 2012).
  4. ^ "Randox launches COVID-19 testing lab at Heathrow Airport". 27 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Randox agrees a deal to test Team GB for Olympics". Belfasttelegraph.
  6. ^ a b Garside, Juliette; Smith, Joseph (4 November 2020). "Tory-linked firm involved in testing failure given new £347m Covid contract". The Guardian.
  7. ^ The Friday Interview – Peter Fitz-Gerald, Randox Laboratories – IDA Ireland Investment Promotion Agency Archived 31 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Idaireland.com.
  8. ^ Randox Laboratories: the future of healthcare – Personal Care Magazine[dead link]. Pathologyinpractice.com.
  9. ^ Diagnostic Reagents – Randox Laboratories. Randox.com.
  10. ^ Randox Laboratories. Randox.com.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 April 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Clinical Chemistry Analysers – RX series – Randox Laboratories. Randox.com.
  13. ^ Randox Laboratories. Randox.com.
  14. ^ a b Interlaboratory Data Management – QC Software – Acusera 24.7 – Randox Laboratories Archived 28 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Randox.com.
  15. ^ Randox Laboratories. Randox.com.
  16. ^ EQA schemes – RIQAS – Largest Global EQA Providers – Randox Laboratories. Randox.com.
  17. ^ EQA/Proficiency Testing Scheme- EQA- Proficiency Testing Archived 28 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine. RIQAS.
  18. ^ http://www.ukas.org/AccredationOthers/schedules/0010Proficiency%20Testing%20Single.pdf[bare URL]
  19. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-31360757)
  20. ^ "Tribunal criticises Randox over unfair dismissal". BBC News. 9 May 2012.
  21. ^ http://www.thompsonstradeunionlaw.co.uk/news/unite-legal-services-maternity-pay.html
  22. ^ Evans, Robb; Pegg, David; Lawrence, Felicity (8 April 2019). "MP Owen Paterson lobbied government for firm he worked for". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  23. ^ Neate, Rupert; Garside, Juliette; Lawrence, Felicity; Evans, Rob (11 May 2020). "Healthcare firm advised by Owen Paterson won £133m coronavirus testing contract unopposed". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  24. ^ United Kingdom Department of Health and Social Care (7 August 2020). "Update on Randox test kits". gov.uk. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  25. ^ "Dispatches uncovers serious failings at one of UK's largest COVID-Testing Labs". Dispatches. Channel 4. 16 November 2020. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  26. ^ Halliday, Gillian; Cross, Gareth (17 November 2020). "Covid testing firm Randox denies Channel 4 'serious failings' claims after undercover probe". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  27. ^ "Randox expands toxicology service by buying Manchester lab". BBC News. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  28. ^ "Killer drug-drivers' conviction quash bid". BBC News. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  29. ^ Devlin, Hannah; Dodd, Vikram (21 November 2017). "Police review 10,000 cases in forensics data 'manipulation' inquiry". the Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  30. ^ https://tuairisc.ie/english-must-be-spoken-at-all-times-failure-to-do-so-is-unacceptable-polasai-teanga-comhlacht-gaeltachta/. Missing or empty |title= (help)