The Fascinating Story Behind Theranos
If you hate needles, you’re definitely not alone. According the Healthline, as much as 10 percent of the population has a fear of needles — a condition known as trypanophobia. Alarmingly, up to 20 percent of sufferers avoid getting medical treatment because of their phobia.
It’s no surprise, then, that many trypanophobics rejoiced when a company called Theranos came on the scene, promising it could deliver accurate results for 240 types of blood tests using the blood from a single finger prick.
The company’s enigmatic and eccentric founder, Elizabeth Holmes, was a magnetic — if perhaps somewhat polarizing — figure, much like other legendary Silicon Valley startup founders.
According to an in-depth Vanity Fair article, Holmes even modeled much of her life, including her clothes, on that of the late Apple founder, Steve Jobs.
The only problem? It was almost entirely a lie. According to multiple reports and an undercover journalistic investigation carried out by the Wall Street Journal, the technology behind Theranos was not capable of delivering on its claims.
Even worse, many of the tests the company performed were actually sent out to competitors’ labs.
In fact, just 15 of the blood tests offered by the company were conducted on its own machines. Investigators have also found evidence that many of the lab results Theranos conducted were defective.
Inaccurate Lab Tests
Just a few months after the Wall Street Journal published its story questioning Theranos’ technology, the federal government began investigating the company.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a letter stating that Theranos’ blood tests “pose immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety.” After that, things went from bad to worse for Theranos.
As reported by Forbes, Theranos laid off 340 employees in October 2016. Walgreens, which previously offered Theranos testing in 40 of its locations, terminated its relationship with the company in June 2016. Theranos was also hit with federal sanctions when the CMS banned its founder from operating a lab for two years.
The government also threatened to permanently ban Theranos and its founder from working in the health care industry. In a compromise, Theranos agreed to void all lab test results performed on its machines between 2014 and 2015. Once valued at $4 billion, Holmes’ estimated net worth has been reduced to $0.
Most recently, the company, its founder, and several others connected to Theranos have been named in a $100 million lawsuit filed by one of its largest investors.
The investor claims the company blatantly lied in an effort to persuade investors to put their faith — and their money — in the company. Experts speculate that similar lawsuits could be forthcoming.
The impressive rise and meteoric implosion of Theranos will undoubtedly be used as a case example in business classes for years to come, as students and analysts ponder how the company’s duped investors can recover the money they lost.
However, Theranos also hurt thousands of people by lying about its blood test technology. It may be impossible to gauge how many people suffered a serious health complication due to an inaccurate lab analysis of their blood.
Get Help from a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have been injured by a defective medical device, a doctor’s mistake, or a misdiagnosis, it’s important to get legal help right away. The law limits the amount of time you have to file a claim.
Don’t miss your chance to get full and fair compensation for your injuries. Call the medical malpractice lawyers at LawMD today to schedule your free case evaluation.