September 29, 2014
Managing five to seven medications can be challenging – throw in long lines, little privacy, and constant refills at your local pharmacy and it’s enough to make you wonder if there is a better solution. There is – it’s called PillPack.
PillPack is a full-service pharmacy that delivers a better, simpler experience, according to their site.
TJ Parker, a cofounder of PillPack, spent three years in pharmacy school looking for a way to solve the problem – and he found an untraditional solution.
“I had the realization that in order to make the impact that we wanted to make, you have to be the pharmacy and you have to rethink how each and every one of those interactions should actually occur,” says Parker.
Pill Pack — which is located in Sommerville, MA, and has its pharmacy in Manchester, NH — simplifies the process for people who have to manage multiple medications. Here’s what first-time users should know:
- Getting started is easy: According to their site, “PillPack transfers medications, confirms medications and start dates; your shipment is delivered to your door and they contact your doctor for refills.
- Pill Pack pharmacists manage everything: “Our pharmacists manage all your refills. From phone calls to faxes and follow up, they handle everything for you,” reads on excerpt on their site.
- Your medication is personalized: “We presort and package your medications, prescriptions and vitamins and any over the counter medications that you take in personalized packages into one packet for each dose,” says Parker.
- No Subscription: PillPack got rid of its $20 fee in May and there is no cost other than existing copays.
- Help 24/7: Parkers says pharmacists are available 24/7 from the comfort of your own home and also via email, phone and online chat.
- Other features: Users can update their shipment info easily, and have a dashboard with a medication overview.
Additionally, PillPack is licensed in, and currently serves, 41 states with a wide range of customers.
“We have kids as young as 8 years old to folks in their high eighties,” says Parker. “The goal is to make this process a lot better and make it really simple for a variety of people.”
Pill Pack in the Medical Market
Unlike other fields, medicine seems to be lagging behind in terms of creating innovative products. The success of PillPack demonstrates that there is plenty of room for disruption in the medical field.
“It’s not as simple as creating an app or a device for a problem; a lot of times you have to create something for an entire experience,” says Parker.
PillPack is also setting itself apart because it will have unique data that no other pharmacy will have access to.
“The data we have is the time of day that you take your medication,” says Parker. “I think you look at a CVS, Walgreens, or another large retail pharmacy, but they have no idea when that fits into your daily routine, and I think that alone will be super valuable.”
More about Parker and the Pill Pack Team
Along with Parker, the team includes Leon Parker, the Director of Pharmacy Services, Nicholas Guletsky, the Head Pharmacist, and Chris Pickering, the Director of Operations.
Parker says he created a hackathon at MIT called Hacking Medicine that was designed to get physicians, doctors and engineers in the health care field all in one room. Parker first pitched PillPack at one of these hackathons, which allowed him to expand his idea, grow a company, and later complete one of the Techstars Accelerators. From his own experiences, the advice he can offer to young entrepreneurs is to be unafraid to share your idea.
“I pitched it and worked on it with my cofounder,” says Parker. “Just the action of speaking publicly about your idea and starting to shape it was a very defining moment in the business existing. Until I actually shared it publicly, nothing was going to come of it.”
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