According to the CDC, 1 in 10 Americans regularly take more than 5 prescription drugs. Sorting these medications to take daily can be a difficult and time-consuming task.
A new online pharmacy, PillPack, aims to make that process easier. PillPack functions just like a normal pharmacy, except that it sorts customers’ medications into individual, sealed packets. These packets are bundled together into a small dispenser and mailed to customers every two weeks.
PillPack handles all of the medication transfers from a customer’s current pharmacy and doesn’t charge any additional fees for shipping or processing. The website also notes, “In most cases, your co-pay will stay the same as it is at your local retail pharmacy for a 30-day supply.”
Co-founder TJ Parker grew up working in his family’s pharmacy, which helped to prepare him for running PillPack. “Our venture backers have also been supportive and incredibly helpful in connecting me with advisors who have helped navigate some of the challenges of running an early stage company,” he told Opportunity Lives.
PillPack found an innovative way to make customers lives easier, and Parker said that people are starting to notice. “I think anyone close to the pharmacy system can clearly see where the structure is broken and failing customers,” he said.
PillPack isn’t the only online pharmacy, but it distinguishes itself with the individual sorting process and modern approach to prescription delivery. PillPack has a 100% guarantee that there will never be a mistake in the sorting of medications, and each packet is reviewed by a pharmacist and photo documented.
The company currently serves customers in 42 states, and Parker said the company is still working through the licensing process for California, Oregon, and several states in the Southeast. “The Boards of Pharmacy in different states operate at different speeds, and each has a unique process,” said Parker. “There’s no real obstacle other than time.”
PillPack doesn’t disclose exactly how many customers currently use the service, but the company has over $12 million in funding and will be trying to raise awareness and market the product, especially to the millions of Americans who need to take multiple medications every day. “Our goal over the next few years is to expand our reach and continue to improve our services,” said Parker.
Parker is a talented pharmacist and entrepreneur. His best advice to future entrepreneurs? “Start with an industry you know.” After that, Parker recommends, “Take problems that you see and learn everything about the root cause of the problem. Then start building a solution.”