COLUMBUS (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — Battle-tested in the coronavirus pandemic, startup ScriptDrop Inc. doubled in both volume of prescription deliveries and revenue in 2020 over the prior year – and it’s poised to double again this year, said CEO Amanda Epp.
Adding Uber as one of its third-party couriers greatly increases availability and reliability of the service, she said.
“I have learned that the team is so important and so valuable,” said Epp, who stepped up to CEO from president in June. “There were so many unforeseen events.
“That has been one of our core values: That we’re resilient and that has definitely gotten us through this past year.”
ScriptDrop’s software allows pharmacists to perform a one-click request for delivery to an outside courier. Last year, it also rolled out direct-to-consumer delivery orders.
The growth was by no means a smooth trajectory. First came a “shocking” spike in demand in April, forcing it to rebuild its software to handle more volume while simultaneously shifting overnight to remote work, as Business First reported in the Small Business, Big Mission series.
But the surge was tempered by shutdowns of elective procedures and general decline in office visits, resulting in fewer prescriptions being written.
Then in October, the Grandview Heights company raised $15 million in venture capital, which helped it sign more pharmacies to use the software, she said. Monthly volume doubled from October to November alone.
“What ScriptDrop has is really truly special,” Epp said. “It’s a win-win-win for everybody in the healthcare ecosystem. Prescription abandonment and (non-)adherence is not just a U.S. problem – it’s a worldwide problem.”
ScriptDrop has 106 employees and plans to continue to offer flexibility on working from home or office once the pandemic subsides.
The company benefits from the same “network effect” among users that drives exponential growth at CoverMyMeds, where Epp was an early employee. Pharmacies, health systems, drug manufacturers and couriers alike get more value from the software every time another facet grows.
“The bigger our network, the more competitive we can be from a cost perspective,” Epp said. “It allows brick and mortar pharmacies to compete against Amazon and allow same-day, on-demand prescription delivery.”
Uber had not previously been a ScriptDrop partner. The software, accessed within a pharmacy’s main customer service system, connects with local courier services, taxis and delivery companies such as UPS or FedEx.
The nationwide deal with Uber announced last week was about six months in the making, Epp said. Uber greatly increases the pool of available drivers, which becomes vital during emergencies such as the recent Texas snowstorms.
“When things like that happen, it’s really critical to have the flexibility in our driver network,” she said. “The more safety net you have to make sure patients get the medication, the better.”
Epp was the first full-time employee at ScriptDrop, leaving CoverMyMeds to join because she wanted to repeat the experience of growing a tiny startup to a huge company. The board named her CEO following the late May departure of co-founder Nick Potts, who now has another health IT startup working on the front end of the prescription transaction.
“I have learned so much about how to approach a problem, and to really think about taking one day at a time, and to put yourself in everybody’s shoes to figure out what is best for the company,” Epp said. “It’s been challenging but rewarding, and just an interesting perspective to gain.
“There’s so many problems to solve in healthcare; it’s really exciting to be in the space.”
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