Wednesday, September 23, 2015

More on Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos

She's now 31 years old with a majority ownership of a company valued in excess of $9 billion (Inc):

Her parents both have had careers with noble ambition--her mother was a foreign-policy and defense aide on Capitol Hill, and her father is now the global water coordinator for USAID--but Holmes decided government agencies were not effective enough. She'd watched "all these people with incredibly good intentions" get mired in bureaucracy and politics while trying to make an impact, she says. Meanwhile, with a startup, Holmes adds, "you say, 'We're going to do this,' and you design an organization to do it."

[...] Over the past 18 months the momentum behind Theranos has been building. There's the recent deal with the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, which will use Theranos technology to test its patients. Theranos secured agreements with Capital BlueCross and AmeriHealth Caritas to be a preferred provider. A partnership with the Carlos Slim Foundation, which runs a network of health care centers in Mexico, will use Theranos tests to screen for, among other things, diabetes, a disease known to be preventable with early detection. In July, Arizona passed the country's first bill, co-authored by Theranos, allowing patients to order blood tests without a prescription. And then there's the massive Walgreens deal.

Any of Theranos's advances could potentially transform the lab test industry. But it's in pricing that Theranos arguably has the most powerful opportunity to disrupt, a point the usually restrained Holmes allows herself to get worked up over. "The premise that you're going to run a business, and that if someone is in need, I'm going to charge them a ton of money, is completely wrong," she says. "Price should be the same for everyone, period. And the price should be affordable." Theranos never charges more than half the rate set by Medicare for blood tests; in some cases, it's a 10th of the cost. A test for HIV can cost more than $80. Theranos charges $16.56.
Previously mentioned here and here.

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