Theranos Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback

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Theranos was a privately held health technology corporation. It was initially touted as a breakthrough technology company, with claims of having devised blood tests that required only very small amounts of blood and could be performed very rapidly using small automated devices the company had developed. However, the claims later proved to be false.

According to WIKIPEDIA In February 2015, Stanford Professor John Ioannidis wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association that no peer-reviewed research from Theranos had been published in the medical research literature. In May 2015, the University of Toronto Professor Eleftherios Diamandis analyzed Theranos technology and concluded that "most of the company's claims are exaggerated. In October 2015, John Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal reported that Theranos was using traditional blood testing machines instead of the company's Edison devices to run its tests (for a definition, see Technology and products below) and that the company's Edison machines might provide inaccurate results. Tyler Shultz, a Theranos employee from 2013 to 2014 and the grandson of then Theranos director, former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz, was a key source for the WSJ story. Shultz had attempted to bring company concerns to his management, and when that had failed, he had spoken to Carreyrou and also, under an alias, reported the company to the New York State Department of Health.

Theranos claimed that the allegations were "factually and scientifically erroneous." Walgreens suspended plans to expand blood-testing centers in their stores following the report. At that time, the Cleveland Clinic announced that it would work to verify Theranos technology. Theranos fought back against the Journal's investigation, sending lawyers after sources in the story, including Tyler Shultz, in an effort to stop them from providing information to the press. Former employees of reputation management firm Status Labs said that Theranos had hired the firm to discreetly erase mentions of the WSJ's reporting from its Wikipedia article, despite the activity being a violation of the website's terms of use.

Following the WSJ story, the history of FDA interactions with Theranos was scrutinized. The FDA had received a formal inquiry to look at Theranos blood test devices by the U.S. Department of Defense in 2012, before the devices were commercially available and did not require FDA approval. FDA inspection reports from 2014 and 2015 stated that its containers for blood collection were "not validated under actual or simulated use conditions" and "were not reviewed and not approved by a designated individual(s) prior to issuance". In 2015, an FDA inspection resulted in multiple observed violations of FDA Title 21 Regulations. It was eventually revealed that the FDA had classified Theranos' "nanotainer" as a Class II medical device, meaning that Theranos would need to use special labels, meet certain performance standards and perform post-market surveillance of the device. Theranos asserted that the nanotainer was a Class I devise and therefore was not subject to any regulatory requirements. After the 2015 inspection, Theranos announced that it would voluntarily suspend its tests apart from the FDA-approved herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) test

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported issues with the company's Scottsdale lab meeting regulations in September 2015. The reports were revealed in the Arizona Republic in November 2015.

In January 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter to Theranos based on an inspection of its Newark, California lab in 2015, reporting that the facility caused "immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety" due to a test to determine the correct dose of the blood-thinning drug warfarin. In 2016, Walgreens and Capital BlueCross announced a suspension of Theranos blood tests from the Newark lab. In March 2016, CMS regulators announced plans to enact sanctions that included suspending Holmes and Balwani from owning or operating a lab for two years and that they would revoke the lab's license.

By April 2016, Theranos came under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors and the SEC for allegedly misleading investors and government officials about its technology. The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce requested information on what Theranos was doing to correct its testing inaccuracies and adherence to federal guidelines in June 2016. A December 2019 Wall Street Journal report found that Theranos received "digital reputation management services" during the federal investigation from a firm known as Status Labs, which made favorable edits to the company's Wikipedia page.

In May 2016, Theranos announced that it had voided two years of results from its Edison device. The company announced that about one percent of test results had been voided or corrected from its proprietary machines in June 2016.

In July 2016, Theranos announced that the CMS had revoked its CLIA certificate and issued sanctions prohibiting its owners and operators from owning or operating a lab for two years, suspension of approval to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments, and a civil monetary penalty. The company discontinued testing at its Newark location while attempting to resolve the issues. Theranos announced plans to appeal the decision by regulators to revoke its license to operate a lab in California and other sanctions.

In August 2016 the company withdrew its request for emergency clearance of a Zika virus blood test after a lack of essential safeguards during the testing process was found by federal inspectors.

Theranos announced that it would close its laboratory operations and wellness centers and lay off about 40 percent of its workforce to work on miniature medical testing machines in October 2016.

In January 2017, Theranos announced that it had laid off 41 percent of its workforce, or approximately 155 people, and closed the last remaining blood-testing facility after the lab failed a second major U.S. regulatory inspection.

Also that month, the company faced lawsuits from several different entities including Walgreens and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

In April 2017, lawyers for Partner Investments LP and two other funds, with combined stakes totaling more than $96 million in Theranos preferred shares, charged that Theranos had threatened to seek bankruptcy protection if the investors did not agree to accept additional stock equity in lieu of litigation. Theranos officials said the funds had mischaracterized the exchange offer, which was discussed before the suit was filed. The suit also alleged that Theranos Inc. had misled company directors about its practices concerning laboratory testing and that it had secretly bought lab equipment to run fake demonstrations. On May 1, 2017, Theranos announced that it had reached an undisclosed settlement with Partner Fund Management LP (PFM). Theranos's General Counsel David Taylor stated: "Theranos is pleased to have resolved both lawsuits with PFM. Although we are confident that we would have prevailed at trial, the resolution of these two cases allows our tender offer to go forward and enables us to return our focus where it belongs, which is on executing our business plans and delivering value for our shareholders." In April 2017, Theranos reached a settlement with CMS agreeing to stay out of the blood-testing business for at least two years in exchange for reduced penalties, and signed a consent decree with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich over violations of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. Alleged violations included false advertisement and inaccurate blood testing. Theranos agreed to refund $4.65 million to the state's residents for Theranos blood testing services, providing a refund to every resident who had received a test, regardless of whether the test results were voided or corrected.

In August 2017, Theranos announced it had reached a settlement with Walgreens.

In December 2017, Fortress Investment Group loaned $100 million to Theranos. Theranos had reportedly been on the verge of bankruptcy, with the loan meant to keep the company solvent into 2018. The loan was secured by Theranos's patents. On April 10, 2018, the company laid off the majority of workers in a renewed bid to avoid bankruptcy. The company's total headcount was down to fewer than 25 employees, after having 800 employees at its peak

In March 2018 the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Theranos, its CEO Elizabeth Holmes and former president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, claiming they had engaged in an "elaborate, years-long fraud" wherein they "deceived investors into believing that its key product – a portable blood analyzer – could conduct comprehensive blood tests from finger drops of blood". Holmes reached a settlement with the SEC, which requires her to pay $500,000, forfeit 19 million shares of company stock, and be barred from having a leadership position in any public company for ten years. Balwani did not settle with the SEC.

On June 15, 2018, Holmes and Balwani were indicted on multiple counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to the indictment, investors and doctors and patients were defrauded. It is alleged the defendants were aware of the unreliability and inaccuracy of their products but concealed that information. If convicted, they each face a maximum fine of $250,000 and 20 years in prison. The case has been assigned to Lucy H. Koh, United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The jury selection for the trial was to begin on July 28, 2020, and the trial was to have commenced in August 2020; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a proposed October date, with further delays possible.


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Former Employee - Bio-mathematician says

"Management was better at sales, fundraising, and promises than the execution of a game plan."

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"Horrible CEO No transparency. Long hours No work life balance"

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"The number one rule was keep your head down and do what you're told - don't talk to anyone else nor try to learn how the product is performing; little did we know this is because they didn't want anybody to know the challenges or failures that the product as a system was experiencing... Marketing and upper management was overly optimistic about the state of the system, but had no sense of the reality of the product; Town halls touted the greatness of our data, and how the world is out to get us. Little did we know we were just drinking the cool-aid. This is what you get when you load management with yes-men and product management is run by a fraternity. Despite doing some of our best work, many of us are doomed to be associated with this con-job for the rest of our careers..."

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"Bad management. Bad HR Arrogant co-workers with questionable science training. Tribalism"

Former Employee - Associate says

"From day 1, an unnerving feeling I’d joined a cult (like an observer not yet brainwashed) that only escalated in sinister intensity until my last day. Most management served with steadfast commitment to perpetuating all the necessary pretenses and myths so as to placate execs, as the truth was always some variant of game changer/deal breaker/scientific paradigm un-re-definer. That culture almost invalidated the entire concept of logic and the related prospect of reasoning, which remained beyond the feeble grasp of most inhabitants of this carefully crafted, painfully distorted alternate reality. There was a stunning dearth of operational infrastructure and lack of core personnel competency, with no commitment (made in my time) to implementing the absolute bare minimum industry standards missing across the board. This was, understandably so, a necessary status quo management upheld in order to permit the egregious conduct that will make this company infamous (over the next few years, as heinous details emerge). I saw no convincing commitment to quality (vapid, hollow town hall buzzwords aside) or tangible progress made toward establishing core systems, and at the time I left I still could not get answers to the same very basic compliance questions."

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"The first day on the job you start to become a victim of gaslighting. The three phases of gaslighting and work life at Theranos. The Idealization Stage: In the beginning of the relationship the narcissist showers the victim with attention, they are loving, charming, flirtatious, energetic, exciting, and great fun to be with. They appear to be so happy and interested in the relationship, and the unsuspecting victim enjoys every moment with their new charismatic partner. They love how the narcissist is so beautifully intense and how they get drunk on life, and they too want to drink this elixir with them. Intense bonding begins for the victim, and innocently, they also believe that the partner feels the same way about them, that the relationship is reciprocal, but this is the narcissist’s biggest deception. The Devaluation Stage: Almost overnight the narcissist becomes decisively cold and uncaring. The victim’s falls from grace is a hard one, they cannot seem to do anything right anymore; the narcissists loving words turn to criticism, everything the victim tries ends in a negative effect, and they find themselves devalued at every turn. Totally confused, the victim has no idea what is happening, and they become increasingly stressed, unhappy and depressed with the situation. The roller-coaster relationship leaves the victim in a state of constant chaos, as if always “walking on eggshells”. All their energy is directed at defending themselves, so the narcissist is not getting the positive attention that they crave; this is likely to be the time when the narcissist starts to look for a fresh provider of narcissistic supply. The Discarding Phase: Once this happens, the narcissist ardor for the game has dampened, in their eyes they have already won the contest, and the fun is over. By this time, the narcissist is totally indifferent to any needs or wishes that the victim may have, in effect they no longer exist in their mind. Not so for the victim, they are left confused and raw with emotion, and are eager to find solutions in order to “fix” the dying relationship. However, the narcissist resists all attempts to rescue the relationship, they will bully with silence, or if there is any kind of response, it will be brutally cold. In effect, the victim has become “worthlessly inferior” to them; they know they have drained the victim dry, that they have now outlived their usefulness, and now it is time for the narcissist to move on to the next source of supply."

Current Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"Are there any adults in the room? There is zero direction or structure, the quality and regulatory systems and knowledge and compliance thereof is almost nil. SCARY. There is no communication or transparency even within the company, silo mentality -- in a company whose purpose is to PROVIDE INFORMATION to its clients and patients (I guess employees are not included.) It is like eighth-graders running around in a sandbox to design medical devices, and having petty and political cliques. Management is utterly ineffective, and those individuals who step forward to do things right, and do things at all, get no where. Elizabeth Holmes should have stepped aside to let someone capable run her company long ago, and it may have survived. But she has too much ego and Elizabeth Inc. will go down in a sputtering flame, at the expense of many brilliant and underappreciated and directionless employees that she doesn't give a damn about. It is a FRAUD, to investors, to the public and patients, and deeply to employees. I don't expect it will be here a year from now and I will not be on that sinking ship."

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"Management is very secretive and the whole company isn't cohesive as a unit . Company cares a lot more about public opinion than actually improving product or taking care of patients. No 401(k) match"

Current Employee - Senior Scientist says

"The utter lack of transparency is inexcusable. The inability to execute project plans and non-existent ownership of failures. Low company morale. The list can go on and on."

Former Employee - Scientist says

"1. Poor decision making for the company since DAY ONE. 2. 16 years into the history of Theranos, with ZERO product on the market, back to point number one. 3. No revenue = no money to sustain the company. 4. Over-hyped before the company was ready to come out, fooling investors and consumers, and giving employees false hopes to work on "revolutionary technology". 5. Adding bunch of old technologies in one box is not revolutionary. 6. Expanding the company too much without vision! Two rounds of mass lay off won't save the company. 7. Getting into clinical testing industry without proper regulatory knowledge, hence the FDA and CMS sanction. 8. Too many law suits from investors and patients. At risk of being bankrupt. 9. The hope of getting future investors to burn their money for Theranos is slim."

Phlebotomist (Former Employee) says

"This is a great company with a lot of potential. But management shows favoritism towards individuals and it greatly noticed. The hours are constantly changing and over time is mandatory. You sit by yourself in a room for 8-12 hours. You are lucky to get 1 day off. You don't have a life while working here. On a positive note the pay is decent. You get to be part of a new and expanding company and interact with lots of different people.Free Lunches when you are at the officeNo place for advancement, favoritism is shown and noticed, work to many hours and have no family life"

Phlebotomis (Current Employee) says

"Long shifts, six some times seven days a week. Decent pay but, no room to grow. Sit in a room alone with nothing to do, lucky to see 5 patients a day."

Buyer / Shipping and Receiving/ Inventory (Former Employee) says

"days working there were weird. someday there was lots of work, then... slow.. stop. culture was weird and divided. didn't not appreciate management style. the few people that worked with others.. made it bearable.."

Software Engineer (Former Employee) says

"it might be a good company I am working as vendor employee. Th experience was very bad. My manager was behave very badly. Always force me to work late night and work on weekend."

Laboratory Director (Former Employee) says

"Fraudulent and frankly criminal company. Ethically unsound, maniacal and psychopathic management. Lack of transparency and scientific rigor. Company is now defunct"

Senior Research Associate (Current Employee) says

"poor management stressful culture no 401k plan match at all basic dental health vision insurance free lunch and dinner thru eat club huge campus area"

Research Associate (Former Employee) says

"Working At theranos was the worse experienced in my short research experience. Working there was frustrating, because of the lack of support the scientific group had from upper management."

Phlebotomist (Former Employee) says

"The pay was good, but worked 12 hour shifts. Was constantly told everything was going good and that they would be opeaning more location. Only to have them pull us in one day to lay everyone off!NothingElizabeth Holmes"

Phlebotomist (Current Employee) says

"The company does not communicate well. There is basically no room for advancement and they hire in batches. There are no "coworkers" you work alone inside a room and your lucky to see 5 patients a day. The hardest part of the job is sitting in a room for nine hours six days a week literally doing nothing productive.competative paynothing to do"

Director (Former Employee) says

"Theranos was a very interesting place to work at. Let's see what the HBO documentary will show. What I know for sure, is that I am very proud of the work my team did.Free mealsVery strong selection and promotion of absolutely wrong people for the job"

Materials Manager (Former Employee) says

"One who works at Theranos, Inc. will have the ability to wear multiple hats and learn a great deal. It is an exciting company with interesting technology. It is a fast-paced work environment. All team members collaborate to complete tasks.Long commute to workFree lunch"

Research Associate Scientist (Former Employee) says

"I've grown and learned so much from the number of years I've been with this company. The experience will be variable depending on the group/team you work with though.Free lunch and snacksvery basic benefits offered"

Phlebotomist (Former Employee) says

"Sit in a room all day with nothing to do. Very low volume for patients. Favortism shown by management. No room for advancement.Good CompensationMandatory Overtime, Not enough work"

Lab Technician (Former Employee) says

"Commute is too far. Should be an excellent company to grow with if their management is more professional, not too much political issues."

Specimen Accessioner (Former Employee) says

"This job was a great job for entry level applicants and provided experience and advancement to my career. The upper management recognized potential and grows the people that showed drive.Free lunches, great paylong hours"

Product Engineer (Current Employee) says

"People here are very nice and creative, the working environment is also very energetic. However, the management team doesn't always have a clear goal and makes some bad decisions.People and working environmentManagement"

Laboratory Supervisor (Current Employee) says

"Theranos has a start-up feel to the company and many people have to opportunity to create and engage in projects that they may have never done before. I have grown as a laboratory professional greatly from the experience Theranos has provided me.Free Lunch, great compensationLong hours"

Phlebotomist (Former Employee) says

"Theranos was great to their employees. Unfortunately, they closed operations. Not much more to say about a company that is closed. I am very disappointed in the behind the scenes lies.flexiblelies"