Imagine being able to submit your prescription right from your doctor’s office in 10 to 15 seconds and the medicine is delivered to your office or home within a couple of hours. No extra drive and agonizing wait at the pharmacy — or worse, the chance that you procrastinate and never get that prescription filled.
A Miami-based startup is making this scenario a reality. Its GetMyRx mobile app launches this week in Miami-Dade County. Through a secure platform, the free GetMyRx app lets users order new or existing prescriptions from local pharmacies, which provide free same-day delivery within the county. The company plans to expand into Broward County and then other cities nationwide.
The company was founded by Luis Angel, a former pharmaceutical executive at Novartis in Europe and New York who spent the past year designing and refining the technology required to power the mobile app. GetMyRx, a team of seven, is based at the downtown Miami accelerator Venture Hive and was part of its first class.
“During the past eight weeks we have piloted our solution and received positive feedback from consumers, pharmacies and physicians. We also confirmed that there is tremendous need for this technology, and proved that our app works as intended. Our next challenge is getting the word out to consumers and educating the healthcare community about the widespread issue of ‘prescription leakage’ that affects 1 in 3 adults,” which refers to prescriptions that people never fill mostly due to the hassle factor, said Angel, GetMyRx’s CEO.
A Harvard University Study of nearly 280,000 patients found that one in three adults who receive a new prescription never even go to the pharmacy. This prescription leakage is a key contributor to medication non-adherence, which leads to $290 billion in avoidable medical spending every year, according to the nonprofit New England Healthcare Institute.
Here’s how the GetMyRx app works: Users scan their prescription and insurance card with the secure iPhone app. GetMyRx routes it to the nearest pharmacy in its network, and the pharmacy instantly confirms the drug copayment through the app, then delivers the medication within a few hours at no additional cost. The free app can be downloaded in the Apple App Store. An app for the Android operating system will be ready in March, Angel said.
GetMyRx charges pharmacies a software licensing fee for accessing its proprietary cloud-based platform, the system used by pharmacies day-to-day to manage all orders coming from the app, said Angel. Pharmacies use its platform to expedite processing of the prescription, send refill reminders and communicate with the patient when needed.
GetMyRx’s network so far includes seven area pharmacies, including VH Pharmacy and South Miami Pharmacy, and because the pharmacies are spread throughout the county the network covers every resident, Angel said. The company is continuing to build out Miami-Dade’s network, beginning an expansion into Broward and has its sights set on New York and San Francisco after that.
“My customers love it. The system is very intuitive and it has push notifications. . . . They have really taken to it. I think it will take off like wildfire,” said Marco Salgado, general manager of the South Miami Pharmacy.
Since its inception in December 2012, GetMyRx has invested about half a million dollars in development. Angel self-funded the venture during the first six months, then closed a $600,000 seed round from two angel investors.
“Luis is tackling a big problem in healthcare and he is very focused on aligning objectives and delivering value to all his stakeholders, whether it’s the consumer, the pharmacist, the doctor, his investors or his team members,” said Ivan Rapin-Smith, program director at Venture Hive.
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