Walgreens And Theranos Reach Settlement With Consumers Who Took Faulty Tests

Walgreens has reached a tentative settlement with consumers who took faulty Theranos blood tests, according to a court document filed Monday.

The proposed settlement agreement will be filed in about three weeks, according to the court document. The details of the agreement are not known.

In 2017, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Walgreens and Theranos, alleging that the two companies made “pervasive misrepresentations” in their marketing and knew that Theranos’ tests were “dangerously unreliable, had not been validated as advertised, and did not meet federal guidelines as advertised.”

According to the lawsuit, the people who used the Edison, which was Theranos’ faulty machine that conducted blood tests with a tiny sample of blood, were given “unreliable and inaccurate” test results, leading many of them to undergo “unnecessary or potentially harmful treatments,” or even neglect to seek treatment for the conditions they didn’t know they had.

Walgreens declined to comment on the tentative settlement.

In 2013, Walgreens partnered with Theranos, allowing customers to use the Edison for a wide range of blood testing. The machine was faulty, however, and according to multiple lawsuits, people were told incorrect results of their blood tests. The saga has been the subject of movies, TV shows, podcasts and articles, and in early 2022, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty of defrauding investors and was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison. She must surrender by the end of the month.

In another lawsuit, Kimberly Toy alleged that Walgreens knew Theranos’ Edison machine that performed the blood tests was faulty. In early 2016, Toy got a blood test done by Theranos to screen for diabetes and the test indicated that she was borderline diabetic. When she got the same test done by Quest Diagnostics, it was “substantially lower” and indicated she was at “the low-end of the scale for an increased risk of Diabetes, borderline non-Diabetic, and clearly not near the diagnostic criteria for Diabetes,” according to the lawsuit.