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NowRx is a prescription delivery service that can bring medications to patients within hours
Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco interview Cary Breese, CEO at NowRx, a tech-enabled pharmacy providing same-day and same-hour delivery of prescription medications.
The company, which has raised $30 million, is designed around the notion of eliminating walk-in, brick and mortar pharmacies, replacing them with a logistics-driven pharmacy distribution model. NowRx delivers all prescription medications same-day, often within two or three hours; it also has a one-hour delivery window for urgent medications.
For these digital health podcasts, our goal is to also understand these three high-level questions: How are we empowering the consumer? Are we creating productivity that also allows us to see overall economic costs go down? How is this advancement changing the role of the doctor?
Highlights from the interview:
- The company isn't digital-only, it has physical locations of its own that it operates in California and Arizona, combining the online and offline world to create a new model for pharmacy.
- NowRx has a consumer app where patients can manage their prescriptions. They also have flexibility over when the prescription will be delivered, and the apps follows up when it comes to refill medications.
- Medication non-adherence is a big problem, where people will put off getting their medications because it's too difficult to get to the pharmacy, or because they forgot. The company shows better health outcomes, reducing hospitalizations.
- With COVID it's even more urgent for patients, especially those who are older and/or have underlying health conditions, to not go to a brick and mortar location and be exposed to a crowded pharmacy.
- The big chains are reliant on big locations and have a lot of overhead; CVS spends $20 billion a year on physical spaces, while NowRx needs one-twentieth the number of facilities to cover the same territory and each facility is one-third the size, and is one-third of the cost.
- NowRx also saves money on the back end, by using technologies like robotics to do dispensing, along with the company's pharmacy software management system, which can interface directly with physicians.
- Despite being a crowded space, NowRx differentiates itself with its same-day delivery, which other companies don't offer, often sending medications through the mail.
- Breese tried Amazon Pharmacy and his medications didn't come for weeks. "There's a lot of complexity in pharmacy, all deliveries are not the same; next day or two-day is not the same as two or three hour delivery and it takes a lot of technology and software and robotics to be able to do what we do. We feel quite comfortable that we're four or five years ahead of the competition, be that Amazon or any of the other players that are out there, and we're probably 10 years ahead of the big box chain pharmacies."
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