Over the last decade, most industries have been turned upside down by the e-commerce revolution. Today, we can request a ride, book an apartment, and order groceries within seconds from our mobile phones. But one sector has been left out of the e-commerce revolution—retail pharmacy. At more than $400B/year, prescription medication is a big category to have been left behind.
For the majority of America, filling a prescription is the same as it was in the 1950’s. It requires driving to a local pharmacy, waiting in line to drop it off, wandering the aisles while it’s prepared, then waiting in line to pick it up. The average American does this multiple times a month.
Traditional retailers love the frequency of those visits, and the propensity of those visitors to buy other items while they’re in the store (that’s why the pharmacy is always in the back). Pharmacy shoppers are the grocery industry’s most valuable customers.
But as everyone with an Amazon Prime account recognizes, not everyone appreciates going to the store.
People who rely most on prescription medications are often society’s most vulnerable. To fill a prescription, an individual needs dependable access to transportation and ample time to spare. For those who live in rural areas, are homebound or live on a fixed income, access and time are barriers to care (and two of the main reasons people don’t take their medications as prescribed).
The world of pharmacy needs to catch up with the rest of retail—and embrace the e-commerce experience. It’s not just about saving time, it’s about improving outcomes. Individuals like Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, increasingly recognize the role technology plays in making healthcare more accessible. (You can read about their wonderful equity initiatives here).
Six years ago, we founded CareZone with a mission to make it easier for people to care for themselves and their loved ones.
Today, millions of people benefit from CareZone. We help care for children, adults and seniors, in every state across the nation, without regard to age, income or health status. Roughly half of CareZone’s users are either on Medicare or Medicaid. A large number of our users are also homebound, cared for by others, or live far away from the nearest pharmacy.
The free CareZone app automates tasks like building an accurate list of the medications you or your loved one is taking. It helps you track whether you’ve taken (or given) them, enables secure sharing of care-related information, analyzes insurance to surface savings opportunities, and connects you to home delivery pharmacy services.
For consumers who want their prescription medications delivered to them, CareZone coordinates pharmacy services that allow its users to receive their prescriptions wherever is most convenient for them. In other words, bringing e-commerce to pharmacy.
CareZone’s e-commerce experience provides millions of Americans with access they’d otherwise lack. Whether you live in a rural town or in an urban center, CareZone brings accessible care to anyone with a smartphone.
With our most recent round of funding from NEA, McKesson Ventures, Obvious Ventures, Tao Capital, and Marc Benioff, we’re excited to continue to grow our partner pharmacy network and expand the health services available to consumers. Thank you all for believing in us and our mission.
Are you caring for a child? A parent? Yourself? We’re here to help.
Learn more about our work at CareZone.com.
Jonathan & Walter