Theranos Faces Controversy After Wall Street Journal Piece

Theranos Faces Controversy After Wall Street Journal Piece

The Wall Street Journal published an article about Theranos and founder Elizabeth Holmes. The piece, written by reporter John Carreyrou, addresses the various inconsistencies and questions surfacing over Theranos technology. Some of the questions have long loomed since Theranos first came onto the Silicon Valley map, questions like: Can you really get the same accurate results from a finger prick at a walk-up stand in a drugstore as you would from a traditional blood draw at a lab?

The piece also considers just how transparent the company has been, alleging that only a small fraction of tests (15) actually use Theranos technology, the Edison machine. The piece claims that Theranos uses traditional laboratory machines and methods for most of their tests, even diluting drops of blood to do so.

Mathew Herper of Forbes talked to Elizabeth Holmes at the Under 30 Summit. He asked her about the allegations surfacing in the press. Holmes has been widely featured in Forbes and other publications for being the youngest self-made woman billionaire and skyrocketing her Silicon Valley start up to a $9 billion valuation seemingly over night.

Holmes told Herper that Theranos is under attack by the lab industry. “[They are] seeding all sorts of stuff about us into the press.” When he asked how they intend on answering the questions citizens have about the technology, she again referred to the instigations of laboratories and urged that Theranos is leading with transparency.

This dodge led Herper to write his own concerns in his piece titled “Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes Needs To Stop Complaining And Answer Questions.” “Holmes and Theranos need to stop blaming every questions that’s asked them on a conspiracy,” wrote Herper. “Of course their competitors say bad things about them…But how many Theranos tests are conducted using Edison? How does accuracy compare to other tests? What, praytell, is factually inaccurate and erroneous in the Journal story? These are fair questions.”

It will be interesting to see how Holmes and Theranos handle the building tension. Will they answer these questions? Or will the diversion continue? Billions of dollars are at stake, after all.

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