Startups, Health IT

Will a concierge service startup make a dent in fulfilling prescription drug orders?

The company’s business model relies on working with independent pharmacies and focuses on patients taking multiple prescription drugs daily.

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Phil, a startup seeking to reduce the number of prescription drug orders that go unfilled, has closed a $10 million funding round. The two-year-old San Francisco-based company plans to use the capital to boost its customer base of independently owned pharmacies.

Among the company’s new investors are Crosslink Capital, Eniac Ventures, Softtech VC, Forerunner Ventures, SV Angel, Silicon Valley Bank, and Transmedia Capital.

Asked how Phil’s technology works, Founder and CEO Deepak Thomas emailed a description.

After a one-minute sign-up process, the patient is able to switch to Phil any medications they currently take or to be issued by their doctor in future. Phil software and the partner pharmacy take over at this point: they process insurance and the patient pays the standard copay through the app. In most instances, prescriptions are delivered to their door within one to two business days at no additional cost. So it’s essentially a free service to the consumer. For subsequent months, the patient gets a delivery alert; they are able to make any changes and the prescriptions are refilled and delivered well ahead of them running out.

There are several prescription drug fulfillment companies seeking a slice of the drug delivery market which plays a role in solving the medication adherence conundrum that pharma companies have a financial interest in addressing and digital health companies are only too happy to help in their own ways.

Asked what’s so special about Phil that sets it apart from other players in the sector such as PillPack, Zip Drug, Capsule Pharmacy and others, Thomas observed that it has sought to cultivate a special relationship with independent pharmacies that have a strong community attachment. He also noted that the toughest part about taking multiple medications every day is coordinating between doctors, pharmacy and insurance.

“Price changes, authorizations … are quite arcane for most individuals to understand or navigate. Unlike other services, Phil is focused on handling all the leg work for consumers when it comes to refilling prescriptions. Phil acts as a concierge service that automates communication with doctors, insurance providers, and pharmacy technicians to get your prescriptions refilled, shipped and delivered directly to your doorstep.”

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