Health Company Pays $4M for Invalid Blood Tests

PHOENIX (CN) — Health care technology company Theranos has agreed to pay $4.65 million to reimburse Arizonans who bought its blood tests.

The settlement will refund all Arizonans who bought one of the 1.5 million tests sold in the state since 2013, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said Tuesday. The payouts average about $26 per customer, but will vary depending on how much the consumer paid initially.

It’s the second settlement entered into by the embattled blood-testing startup, which has been accused in a number of class actions of inaccurate readings and a failure to abide by federal regulations.

Theranos entered into a $30,000 settlement Monday with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in which it also agreed not to operate a lab over the next two years.

From 2013 through 2016, Theranos sold its blood tests to nearly 176,000 Arizonans, Brnovich said. About 10 percent of the tests sold in the state were either voided or corrected.

Everyone who paid for a test will receive a full refund, period,” Brnovich said in a statement.This is a great result and a clear message that Arizona’s consumer protection laws will be vigorously enforced.”

Theranos said the settlement demonstrated itscommitment to resolving the issue amicably on behalf of Arizonans and working collaboratively with state officials.”

As part of the agreement, which was signed Monday, Theranos must also pay $200,000 in civil penalties and $25,000 in attorney fees. Similar to the federal settlement, it cannot operate any laboratories in Arizona for two years.

The company faced another blow on Tuesday when a federal judge in the Northern District of California refused to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed by investors who claimed overblown claims about the company’s technology induced them to lose billions.

The company, based in Palo Alto, Calif. was formed in 2003 as an alternative to traditional blood tests, touting its ability to perform more than 200 tests from a few drops of blood.

It voided all of its tests performed on Edison machines last year after it received a warning from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services threatening to impose sanctions.

Elizabeth Holmes, the company’s founder, was once valued by Forbes at $4.5 million, a net worth the publication lowered to “nothing” last year based on her 50 percent stake in Theranos.

 

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