Walgreens Shuts 40 Theranos Outlets After Ending Partnership

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. said it has terminated its relationship with blood-testing startup Theranos Inc. and will close the company’s testing centers in its stores.

Walgreens’ decision is a crippling blow for Theranos, which according to a statement from the drug-store chain will lose 40 outlets across Arizona. Without this deal, the startup has few centers left where consumers can get Theranos tests -- a list of testing locations on its website shows only five other locations not tied to the pharmacy chain.

Theranos’s reputation has already been damaged after it issued tens of thousands of corrected or voided results to former patients, and has been subject to investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco, and federal and state health regulators.

“In light of the voiding of a number of test results, and as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has rejected Theranos’ 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,” Brad Fluegel, Walgreens’ Chief Health Care Commercial Market Development Officer, said in the statement.

Theranos has said it’s developed a technology that can run scores of diagnostic tests using only a few drops of blood. It’s sought to provide cheaper and less painful tests than the market leaders, Quest Diagnostics Inc. and Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings.

“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 and look forward to continuing to serve customers in Arizona and California through our retail locations," Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for Theranos, said by e-mail.

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