Walgreens has had enough of Theranos, the beleaguered blood-testing company.
In a press release Sunday, the drugstore chain announced "it will be terminating its relationship and closing operations at all 40 Theranos Wellness Centers at its stores in Arizona, effective immediately."
“In light of the voiding of a number of test results," said Walgreens Senior Vice President Brad Fluegel, in the statement, "and as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 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.”
The announcement ends a relationship that began in 2013, with the opening of Theranos centers at Walgreens in Phoenix and Scottsdale, putting a previously furtive Theranos on the map.
Brooke Buchanan, Theranos' vice president of communications (one can think of cushier jobs at this point), issued this statement in response to Walgreens' announcement:
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. 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 independent retail locations.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Walgreens executives decided to sever the relationship with Theranos in January, after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which regulates the nation's blood labs, found serious, even life-threatening, deficiencies at Theranos' facility in Newark, Calif. The federal agency later rejected Theranos' submission of proof that it had corrected those problems, threatening to pull the lab's license and ban founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes from operating a lab for two years.