Nursing Book Club
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carryrou
When a revolutionary medical innovation proves too good to be true
I had read a little bit last year about the controversy surrounding the biotech company Theranos, but it wasn’t until Working Nurse Editor-in-Chief Catherine Rhodes told me that everyone she knew was talking about this new book that I decided to read more. Bad Blood turned out to be a page-turner that I couldn’t put down.
By now, many of you have probably at least seen the headlines: Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, who founded the company back in 2003 when she was a sophomore at Stanford University, had built a $9 billion company on an exciting, revolutionary premise: that they could run blood chemistries from a single drop of blood rather than the multiple tubes that now need to be drawn.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, it was a lie. In June 2018, Holmes and her ex-boyfriend, former Theranos president and COO Sunny Balwani, were indicted for wire fraud and conspiracy. FBI Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett alleges that Holmes and Balwani not only conspired to deceive investors, but also “misled doctors and patients about the reliability of medical tests that endangered health and lives.”