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UCLA Medical System

Scope maker Olympus sought price hike amid superbug outbreak

Scope maker Olympus sought price hike amid superbug outbreak

Soon after doctors at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center traced deadly infections to tainted medical scopes last year, they pressed the device maker to lend them replacements.

But Olympus Corp. refused. Instead, the Tokyo company offered to sell UCLA 35 new scopes for $1.2 million — a 28% increase in price from what it charged the university just months earlier, according to university emails obtained from a public-records request.

Olympus sales manager Vincent Hernandez told UCLA that the company's previous discounts no longer applied. "Supplies are already low, where demand is high with all academic institutions expanding their inventories,"

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