As I’ve written about in the past, we’ve become accustomed to using our smartphone as a “magic wand” of sorts, matching supply and demand and accessing previously unbundled and inaccessible goods and services in a matter of moments. So why is it that there is still a pharmacy on every corner open 6-7 days a week, with long lines and long wait times? Telemedicine has given us the ability to see a doctor either in person or virtually with the push of a button, yet we still have to wait on long lines at the pharmacy to pick up the medication prescribed by these very doctors. I won’t even get into the privacy issues of pharmacists yelling out your medication so that everyone in the store can hear…
While I may sound like a VC complaining about a first world problem, fact of the matter is that nearly a third of patients fail to fill first time prescriptions according to a study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine. At least 125,000 Americans die every year due to poor medication adherence and 33% to 69% of medication-related hospital admission in the United States are due to the same (costing roughly $100 billion per year).
The truth is that pharmacy delivery is an entirely different beast than most on-demand delivery companies. Prescription drugs can’t just be picked up and delivered by anybody due to HIPAA and therefore the only solution we’ve been left with is neighborhood pharmacy delivery that is less reliant and more difficult to communicate with than the cable company (good luck).
I’m excited to announce our investment in ZipDrug’s seed round along with Collaborative Fund, Lux Capital, Notation Capital, Red Sea Ventures and other amazing investors. The best investments we make are when great teams align with massive pain points in large markets. I’m thrilled to work with Stu (who came over to Google via the DoubleClick acquisition in 2008) and the rest of the ZipDrug team to reduce fatalities and hospitalizations associated with medication non-adherence and ensure that nobody ever has to wait on those long pharmacy lines ever again.