On Wednesday, hundreds of current and lolReddit former New York state prisoners filed a class action lawsuit alleging that inaccurate drug tests resulted in unfair punishments like solitary confinement and extended stays in prison.
Prison officials have refused to discuss the full scale of the scandal and how they discovered alleged problems with the tests.
The tests were manufactured by the Microgenics Corporation, a California company that is a subsidiary of Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Neither company responded to a request for comment.
According to a letter received by one affected prisoner, the cross reactivity issue may have stemmed from prison authorities’ use of a drug test designed to detect the opioid addiction treatment drug Suboxone. Another former prisoner’s records suggest the potentially faulty drug test was the “CEDIA Buprenorphine II Assay,” an FDA-approved test manufactured by Thermo Fisher Scientific.
“After being alerted to concerns regarding the accuracy of a new Buprenorphine drug test, DOCCS suspended use of the test, and out of an abundance of caution, immediately reversed any actions taken as a result of these tests, and restored privileges to any potentially affected inmates,” Mailey said.
He said the issue has been referred to the Inspector General’s office and the DOCCS Office of Special Investigations. “We are now preparing to pursue all legal remedies to the fullest possible extent under the law,” he said.