Walgreens ‘halts’ Theranos partnership following WSJ technology expose

The drug retailer Walgreens has announced that its future partnership with the consumer healthcare technology company Theranos is up for discussion, following claims from the Wall Street Journal that the latter hasn’t been honest about how it uses its technology.

In a statement to Engadget, it said that now that it has completed the Phoenix rollout of Theranos Wellness Centers, it will now enter into talks with Theranos: “Plans to open more Theranos Wellness Centers are dependent upon both companies’ ability to reach a mutually beneficial arrangement.”

Last week, the WSJ claimed that the healthcare tech company had misled the world over the accuracy of its tests; that its proprietary devices have limited scope; and that finger-pricked blood samples are not as reliable as vein-drawn blood alternatives.

Theranos refuted the majority of these claims in a detailed response, explaining that “the stories say or imply many things that are wrong”. An ensuing, very public disagreement between the two has since unravelled in which both sides are holding firm.

Speaking at the WSJD Live global technology conference in Laguna Beach, California, the company’s founder and chief executive, Elizabeth Holmes, explained that Theranos is in a “pause period” as it strives to get its technology approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the US.

She said that she had “read what was written in the article,” adding that the company disagreed with it and that it thought the piece was “was false … and misleading”. She later questioned the authenticity of some of the sources used to back up the claims.

Following this, the WSJ released a statement in which it thanked Ms. Holmes for agreeing to the interview. However, it said that the comments she made during this segment did not in fact “refute the accuracy of the reporting”.

“We note that Ms. Holmes sought to challenge the reliability of our sources, but it remains the fact that she doesn’t know from whom the information for our articles was gathered,” the news provider went on to say.

Author , ESET

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