Theranos' partnership with Walgreens ended in June 2016, and now the pharmacy giant is out for blood / Steve Jurvetson

Theranos’ partnership with Walgreens ended in June 2016, and now the pharmacy giant is out for blood / Steve Jurvetson

It never rains but it pours, and monsoon season is continuing unabashed at Theranos. Pharmacy chain Walgreens has filed a lawsuit against the embattled blood-testing company, alleging breach of contract. 

Walgreens is seeking $140 million in the suit, according to the Wall Street Journal, equal to the amount it originally invested in Theranos. The civil suit was filed under seal in Delaware, so few details have been disclosed in court records.

According to the Journal, “people familiar with the matter” said Walgreens claims it was mislead by Theranos about the state of its Edison blood testing device when the two companies went into partnership in 2013. Walgreens bought into the Theranos vision of disrupting the blood testing industry by performing a battery of tests on a single drop of blood. 40 Walgreens stores across Arizona offered the Edison system to customers. 

This is the latest in a long line of blows to Theranos, which began in 2015 with a series of investigations published by the Wall Street Journal detailing the problems with Edison and the company’s lab operations. 

Seperately, Theranos faces an ongoing criminal investigation by the Securities and Exchange commission, as well as a long list of patient lawsuits who say that the company’s tests yielded dangerously inaccurate results. 

In a statement, Theranos said it is “disappointed” that Walgreens filed the lawsuit. “Over the years, Walgreens consistently failed to meet its commitments to Theranos. Through its mishandling of our partnership and now this lawsuit, Walgreens has caused Theranos and its investors significant harm.”

Theranos said it “will respond vigorously to Walgreens’ unfounded allegations, and will seek to hold Walgreens responsible for the damage it has caused to Theranos and its investors.”

At the point of writing, Walgreens had no comment on the lawsuit. 

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