On-demand pharmacy NowRx fetches $2 mln seed

Mountain View, California-based NowRx, an on-demand pharmacy, has raised $2 million in seed funding. The investors in this round were via the crowdfunding platform Seedinvest.com as well as individual investors, according to a spokesperson for NowRx.


Mountain View, CA – June 13, 2017 – NowRx, an on-demand pharmacy that provides delivery of prescription medications directly to consumers, today announced it has closed a $2 million seed round of funding to continue the expansion of its pioneering business model. NowRx aims to replace the traditional retail pharmacy by providing free, same-day delivery of medications through the convenience of a mobile app. It is the only service of its kind that also addresses urgent medication needs by offering an expedited, one-hour prescription delivery option for a $5 service fee.
In just over one year after its first delivery, NowRx currently serves more than 3,000 customers and is growing at 10% month over month. The company has gained popularity among physicians for its prescription analytics platform that provides physician visibility into prescription status, insurance company approvals, and delivery confirmation, enabling collaboration between physicians, pharmacists and patients to affect better medication compliance and improved health outcomes.

NowRx customers can download an easy-to-use app to upload photos of paper prescriptions1, pay their insurance co-pay, consult with a pharmacist via video chat, and schedule on-demand delivery of medications to their home, office or any other location. If a customer prefers not to use the app, the entire process can also be performed over the phone, or by a caregiver who can order prescriptions on behalf of the patient. NowRx accepts all major health insurance plans so customers are charged their standard co-pay.

“Free same-day delivery provides a dramatically better customer experience, and is uniquely available from an on-demand pharmacy. The large chain pharmacies are reluctant to offer free delivery because of the essential incentive to attract customers into their brick and mortar locations so they can upsell them on all of the other products in the store,” said Cary Breese, CEO, NowRx. “By operating inside highly automated, low-overhead warehouse locations, NowRx will be able to achieve the same or better operating margins as the largest players in the industry and, in fact, we are projecting profitability later this year. NowRx represents a fundamental reinvention of the $225 billion retail pharmacy industry.”

On the back end, NowRx is in the process of deploying automated robotics to dispense prescriptions. Its logistics layer dispatches drivers along delivery routes that are optimized based on real-time traffic conditions and upcoming refill orders. Furthermore, NowRx operates with a tiny fraction of the infrastructure typically required by traditional retail pharmacies. The delivery area of one NowRx location is able to serve the equivalent territory of more than 20 large chain pharmacy locations, and each NowRx location is approximately one-tenth of the square footage at one-third the rent per square foot.
“Our very low fixed overhead costs and small infrastructure footprint allow NowRx to create an innovative blend of “offline” and “online” capabilities, in other words a combination of small storefront and mobile app, that is optimal for this industry and a model that is highly scalable,” added Breese.

By delivering medications to a patient’s home, NowRx helps them take their medications more consistently and in accordance with physicians’ instructions, what the industry calls medication compliance. Every year more than 100 million prescriptions go unfilled, and a third of prescriptions are abandoned because patients are too busy, lacked transportation or forgot to pick them up. It is estimated that medication noncompliance is responsible for more than $317 billion in healthcare costs. That is a critical issue for physicians, who are seeking more cost-effective ways to ensure that patients receive the health and medical benefits of the medications they prescribe. The NowRx app also provides daily reminders2 and a user-friendly refill process, so patients are even less likely to skip taking their medication.

“NowRx has been a life changer. It was frustrating to drive so many miles and spend so much time picking up prescriptions. Sometimes I would get notified for the same prescription as I was driving back and forth,” said Glenda S., a NowRx customer. “Now the prescriptions are delivered right to my front door, and I know exactly what the cost will be before I decide to order them. It couldn’t be easier. The notification of renewal on the app also is a wonderful feature.”

The NowRx team is also working on leveraging patient analytics and drug utilization patterns in order to trigger pharmacist intervention and physician collaboration that further improve compliance.

“Medication noncompliance is a major concern in the medical profession, and it’s not unusual for me to see about one-third of patients not taking their prescriptions,” said Dr. Moshe Mendelson, Silicon Valley Eye Physicians. “NowRx, with its reminders and direct delivery to patients aids compliance and, as a result, promotes better health outcomes. I feel the app is a wonderful development because it adds a layer of adherence for the patients, especially those with chronic conditions. It’s also extremely convenient. Today when I give my patients the option to send prescriptions electronically to their local pharmacy or to NowRx, an overwhelming 80% choose NowRx because of convenience.”

NowRx currently operates from a warehouse in Mountain View, CA and serves customers across the San Francisco peninsula. In the short term, two new warehouse locations are planned to expand coverage of the San Francisco Bay Area and optimize the business model. Future funding will finance several more warehouse locations, and introduce NowRx to other markets across California and nationwide.

About NowRx
NowRx is a technology-driven, on-demand pharmacy built for today’s busy consumer. With a few taps using the NowRx app, or with a simple phone call, customers can submit prescriptions, consult with a pharmacist, and schedule free, same-day delivery of prescription medications. One-hour delivery is also available for a small fee. Supported by powerful logistics, predictive delivery, robotics and patient analytics, NowRx is the quickest and most convenient way to receive prescription medications. Learn more at www.nowrx.com.