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The company also plans to expand into delivering healthy food and over-the-counter medicine
When Uber Health launched back in 2018, the initial idea was for doctors to schedule rides for their patients, specifically older ones who were less likely to have access to a smartphone. It has since branched out into other aspects of healthcare as well, most notably pharmaceuticals, first through a partnership with NimbleRx for medication delivery in Seattle and Dallas, before expanding to Austin, Houston, and New York City.
The company also partnered with ScriptDrop, a medication access startup that connects pharmacies to a network of trained professional couriers, in 2021 so that those pharmacies could deliver medications to customers through Uber in 37 states.
Now, the two companies have announced an expansion to their partnership so that, for the first time, pharmacies will be able to deliver prescriptions to the patient same-day.
Healthcare providers and health plans who use Uber Health will be able to manage prescription delivery from any pharmacy through the same platform they're already using to coordinate transportation. They'll be able to arrange direct, same-day delivery of their prescriptions while also tracking when they arrive at the patient's door.
Prescription deliveries can be facilitated through any pharmacy registered with the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) within delivery coverage areas. In addition, Uber Health allows for access to delivery coverage areas that include pharmacies dispensing medications covered by the 340B program, which helps health plans and providers reach low-income and uninsured patients.
In addition to delivering prescription medications, Uber also revealed plans to eventually expand into other delivery categories, including healthy food, and over-the-counter medicine for Medicare Advantage and Medicaid beneficiaries.
“At Uber Health, we are building solutions that address lessons we’ve learned from years at healthcare companies operating in value-based care contracts. Too much time has been spent ensuring patients had a ride to their follow-up appointment, had picked up the right prescriptions, or had access to food,” Caitlin Donovan, Global Head of Uber Health, said in a statement.
“That’s why I’m proud to add a scalable prescription delivery solution to our platform that empowers care teams to fully close the loop. From prescription delivery and NEMT today to healthy food and grocery delivery in the coming months, Uber Health remains committed to delivering a more connected care journey through a single, seamless platform.”
Uber is not the only tech company that has made inroads into the pharma delivery space: Amazon has been delivering medications since 2018 when it acquired online pharmacy PillPack. It has since launched its own line of over the counter drugs and also debuted Amazon Pharmacy, a store that allows customers to have their prescription medication delivered right to their door, and offering discounted medications for Prime members who pay without insurance.
The company recently unveiled RxPass, wherein members of Amazon Prime can pay just $5 a month and get access to as many commonly prescribed generic medications as they need; that includes drugs that treat more than 80 health conditions, such as high blood pressure, anxiety, or acid reflux. Depending on their prescription, RxPass members will also be able to have their medications delivered on either a monthly or quarterly basis.
Amazon does not, however, offer same-day medication delivery; Prime members get free 2-day delivery and all customers get free 4 to 5 day delivery, or they can upgrade to 2-day delivery for $5.99 per shipment.
(Image source: istockphoto.com)
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