I participated in the hype about the company. I wrote about Theranos years ago and was a proponent of the benefits it offered for the pharmacy industry. After all, the ability for a patient to get lab work, no order sets, all at the pharmacy, was a fantastic proposition for the profession. We have a massive lack of objective data relevant to the end utilization of medications. Hypothyroidism? What does the lab work show? Anemia? Lab work. Diabetes? Lab work, which we just do not have. So, this was a fantastic ability to work with patients and expand our medication therapy management services, I thought. It also opened up a better means for patient safety, such as evaluation of renal function. Walgreens, I am sure, thought that, too. It was one of Theranos' biggest backers and was aiming to create space in its pharmacies for the equipment. Even Safeway was getting on board, but that was in the early stages, until the bomb dropped from The Wall Street Journal.1
1. Carreyrou J. Hot startup Theranos has struggled with its blood-test technology. The Wall Street Journal. wsj.com/articles/theranos-has-struggled-with-blood-tests-1444881901. Published October 16, 2015. Accessed April 12, 2018.
2. Bilton N. Exclusive: how Elizabeth Holmes's house of cards came tumbling down. Vanity Fair. vanityfair.com/news/2016/09/elizabeth-holmes-theranos-exclusive. Published October 2016. Accessed April 12, 2018.
3. Theranos, CEO Holmes, and former president Balwani charged with massive fraud [news release]. Washington, DC: US Securities and Exchange Commission; March 14, 2018. sec.gov/news/press-release/2018-41. Accessed April 12, 2018.
Timothy Aungst, PharmD
Timothy Dy Aungst, PharmD, is an associate professor of pharmacy practice at MCPHS University. He graduated from Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy and completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at St. Luke's University Hospital, and then a Clinical Geriatric Fellowship at MCPHS University. He is passionate about the rise of technology in health care and its application to pharmacy. He has published primarily on the role of mobile technology and mHealth, and made multiple national and international presentations on those topics. He blogs at TheDigitalApothecary.com, is a Co-Host of FurtureDose.tech a podcast part of the Pharmacy Podcast Network, and you can find him on Twitter @TDAungst.