This is one worth following.
The Arizona Republic reported, “Do-it-yourself lab testing without doc’s orders begins.” Excerpt:
Arizona law has allowed consumers to get a limited number of tests — for example, cholesterol and blood-glucose checks — on their own from licensed labs. But House Bill 2645 lets consumers access any test a lab sells without consulting a physician.
The bill was pushed by Palo Alto, Calif.-based Theranos, a medical-diagnostics company that has made its tests available to consumers at Walgreens stores across metro Phoenix.
While Theranos is making a splash in Arizona, it’s not the only lab company that markets directly to consumers.
Any Lab Test Now, with five locations in metro Phoenix, also lists prices on its website. The company takes blood draws from patients at its retail location and sends the samples to Sonora Quest Laboratories, a large local lab that handles testing for hospitals and doctors across the region.
Competitors and medical researchers have noted that Theranos has not publicly reported data that verify the accuracy of its tests. John Ioannidis, a prominent Stanford School of Medicine researcher, singled out Theranos as an example of biomedical “stealth research” that makes it difficult to tell what evidence can be trusted amid a “mix of possibly brilliant ideas, aggressive corporate announcements and mass media hype.”
In an opinion piece that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Ioannidis wrote, “The main motive appears to be to develop products and services, rather than report new discoveries as research scholarship. Products, services, and profit appear to be more important than scientific publications.”
The story concludes, “While Arizona is the first state in which Theranos has unveiled its direct-to-consumer strategy, the company plans to roll out operations in all states.”
The Ioannidis viewpoint article in JAMA was published in February: “Stealth Research: Is Biomedical Innovation Happening Outside the Peer-Reviewed Literature?“
Last week, the Washington Post reported about Theranos and Ioannidis: “Theranos blood test: The insanely influential Stanford professor who called the company out for its ‘stealth research’ ”
If you’d like to hear more about Ioanndis’ work, Michigan State University has just posted videos of one of his presentations and of interviews conducted with him – on the MSUResearch YouTube Channel.