Walgreens tells Theranos not to use California lab

Walgreens has shut down a Theranos Wellness Center in Palo Alto, California, and told the testing company not to send samples to its lab in Newark, California. Arizona operations are mostly unaffected.


The other shoe is dropping for Theranos.

Now that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has found practices that “pose immediate jeopardy to patient safety” at the company’s laboratory in Newark, California, and given Theranos 10 days to fix the problem, Theranos has just gotten a reprimand from a major customer.

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Thursday, Walgreens said it has “informed Theranos that it must immediately cease sending any clinical laboratory tests provided through Theranos Wellness Centers at Walgreens to the Theranos lab in Newark, California for analysis.” The pharmacy chain also said it would shut down the public Theranos center at a Palo Alto, California, Walgreens location.

There will only be a slight change in the Theranos-Walgreens collaboration at 40 Phoenix-area locations. “The wellness centers in Arizona will continue operating,” Walgreens spokesman Michael Polzin said from company headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois.

But samples collected at the Arizona sites must be sent to the Theranos lab in Scottsdale, Arizona, or to a third-party lab, not to the California site. “The CMS complaint only involves the Newark, California, laboratory,” Polzin noted.

Photo: Flickr user Mike Mozart