Pharmacy startup PillPack eyes retail locations

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Thirteen-month old PillPack, an online pharmacy that bills itself as a simpler solution for medication management, is planning retail sites.

The Manchester, N.H.-based company said Wednesday that it has completed a $50 million round of financing, which is earmarked for fueling growth, hiring a world-class team and building retail pharmacies in U.S. markets.

A full-service pharmacy, PillPack manages multiple medications through personal service, convenient packaging (with an Apple-esque flair for design) and technology. The company ships personalized rolls of presorted prescriptions, vitamins and over-the-counter medicines in individual packs, and it manages refills for customers by coordinating with doctors and insurance providers.

PillPack has seen robust growth, shipping more than 1 million dose packs since its launch in February 2014. The company noted that, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22% of Americans take three or more medications regularly.

PillPack Rx box contents

What’s inside a PillPack package

“In the last two years, we’ve built and launched a better, simpler pharmacy experience that folks absolutely love,” stated PillPack chief executive officer TJ Parker, PharmD, a second-generation pharmacist. “With this funding, we’re excited to expand our physical footprint across the country, enabling both increased capacity as well as opportunities for an even more delightful experience for our customers.”

The company explains that it simplifies medication management in three ways:

• Rather than send medications in individual pill bottles, which customers must sort and organize, PillPack dispenses medications into multidose packs. The presorted medications arrive packaged and labeled with the date and time each dose should be taken. Inhalers, creams or other medications can also be included in the shipment.

• Refills are managed for customers by proactively coordinating with physicians and insurers, and PillPack pharmacists are available to answer questions 24/7.

• An online dashboard enables customers to manage medication lists, track shipments and billing, and see a calendar of important dates. Customers can also order vitamins and OTCs from their dashboard.

Currently, PillPack is available in 47 states. The company said it accepts most prescription drug insurance plans, including a majority of Medicare Part D plans.

“In the last 10 years, nearly every industry has been modernized to cater to its customers through convenience, service and simplicity. Surprisingly, the pharmacy experience has been completely overlooked,” according to George Zachary, a partner at early-stage tech investment firm CRV (formerly Charles River Ventures) who will join PillPack’s board as a director. “I was drawn to PillPack because they’ve taken on this challenge. Anyone who has to deal with the hassles of an in-person retail pharmacy can understand its value, especially people who have to manage multiple prescriptions of their own or for their loved ones. It’s truly transformative.”


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