Walgreens and Theranos had entered into a partnership just over two years ago to make the latter’s revolutionary blood test technology available to people through the pharmacies of Walgreens across the nation. However, the partnership seems to be suffering a setback due to the regulatory issues with the Theranos’ operations. For the time being, Walgreens has closed its only Theranos Wellness Center in California and is mulling over the decision to be taken regarding the rest 40 centers in Arizona.
An FDA report issued in October 2015, condemned Theranos to eliminate the use of its ‘finger stick’ technology to conduct over 240 blood tests offered by it, except one test. Furthermore, the startup was informed by inspectors last week that its lab in Newark, California is not meeting the federal parameters and the breach of even one parameter poses the danger to the health and security of the patient.
In another incident, the merger with Switzerland-based Alliance Boots in 2014 eliminated all the executives if Walgreens that were part of the Walgreens-Theranos partnership deal in 2013. So now Walgreens had put a stop to all its expansion plans with Theranos till the time these issues get sorted out. “We’re trying to figure out where we are and what we do going forward. We need to understand the truth,” said a Walgreens official.
It has further been revealed that Theranos uses its proprietary Edison machine to conduct very few tests, while finger stick and nanotainer are used to conduct only one test. Meanwhile, most of the tests are conducted through the traditional equipment and several of them are outsourced to third-party laboratories.
This information was not disclosed to Walgreens. Theranos has continuously failed to fulfill its promises and maintain transparency. Furthermore, Safeway is also planning to end its deal with Theranos owing to missing deadlines, delays in rollout and inaccurate test results.