Retail

Walgreens Gives Theranos An Ultimatum

Walgreens might be on the outs with its blood-testing company.

Late last month, reports The Wall Street Journal, the drugstore chain issued a letter to Theranos Inc. — which operates 40 “wellness centers” at Walgreens locations in Arizona — informing the company that it will terminate its partnership should Theranos not resolve, within 30 days, the infractions at its laboratory that were cited by federal inspectors.

While neither Theranos nor Walgreens commented in the WSJ story, the outlet notes that the two companies are in continued talks about the matter and that Theranos has previously stated that the violations that were flagged in the fall of 2015 do not “reflect the current state of the lab.” Additonally, Theranos has stated that it “addressed many of the observations” and is “actively continuing to take corrective action.”

Given that Walgreens, as WSJ shares, is Theranos’ primary retail partner: “Should the Theranos-Walgreens partnership dissolve,” William Quirk, a laboratory industry analyst at Piper Jaffray, told the outlet, “that would effectively mean they’d cease to be a competitor to other labs.”

While Walgreens and Theranos were, according to WSJ, as of a few months ago, planning to expand the inclusion of Theranos’ blood-testing services in Walgreens stores beyond Arizona, Walgreens has reversed course in light of the violations and is reassessing the entirety of its relationship with Theranos.

Beyond having to address the deadline that Walgreens has imposed, adds the outlet, Theranos is due today (Feb. 12) to submit its plan for fixing the problems to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — although that deadline, which has already been extended once, could potentially be moved again.

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