Walgreens has officially ended its partnership with medical laboratories services company, Theranos. The US pharmacy giant is set to close all 40 of the Theranos blood testing centers in its Arizona drugstores.
These locations were the last ones still operating after questions were raised regarding the accuracy of Theranos’ blood test results. The tests – which require just a single drop of blood – have already stopped being sold in California.
Loss of the Walgreens partnership is just the most recent blow to the California-based blood test company. While Theranos does operate its own retail testing centers, the Walgreens locations in Arizona were believed to bring in the majority of its customers.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are considering banning Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes from operating a blood testing facility for two years, after federal regulators identified a number of issues at its lab in Newark, California. Theranos is also facing an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation.
“In light of the voiding of a number of test results, and as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has rejected Theranos’s plan of correction and considers sanctions, we have carefully considered our relationship with Theranos and believe it is in our customers’ best interests to terminate our partnership,” said senior vice president of Walgreens, Brad Fluegel.
Formerly hailed as a Silicon Valley darling, Theranos offered fingerprick blood tests which the company claimed would be more accurate and less expensive than traditional tests. Despite voiding the results of tens of thousands of blood tests, the company has so far only corrected less than one percent of the affected results.
“We are disappointed that Walgreens has chosen to terminate our relationship and remain fully committed to our mission to provide patients access to affordable health information,” said a statement released by Theranos. “Quality and safety are our top priorities and we are working closely with government officials to ensure that we not only comply with all federal regulations but exceed them.”