Uber Health forays into prescription drug delivery

Uber and rival Lyft have ventured into the non-urgent healthcare market in recent years, partnering with federal and commercial payers and some large employers. Uber, which has nearly 1,500 healthcare partners, is now looking for part of the lucrative prescription drug market in the United States, which accounted for $ 335 billion in healthcare spending in 2018 and whose prescriptions are valued at around 3.8 per year.

It’s a crowded space – retail giants CVS Health and Walgreens have invested heavily in prescription home delivery after Amazon acquired the online pharmacy Pillpack two years ago. Established gamers and startups compete to reduce spending on packaged drugs by pushing for better drug maintenance. According to INC Research, up to 30% of people never take prescription drugs at the pharmacy.

The agile digital delivery market, headquartered in Redwood City, California, is used by more than 700 pharmacies in 34 states, giving the new association significant reach at scale. Thanks to the integration with Uber Direct, Uber’s delivery platform, the carpool giant’s driver fleet will now be another delivery option for consumers.

Home delivery of medicines is increasingly in demand as vulnerable people try to get their medicines at home, preventing the possible spread of COVID-19 in pharmacies and doctors’ offices. At the same time, some patients are experiencing delivery delays due to unrest within the United States Postal Service, and the Trump administration has been accused of slowing operations to delay mail-order voting.

The demand for shipments from retail pharmacies to COVID-19 hotspots across the country has increased, in part due to the increase in the number of requests from Seniors, Nimble, which began in 2014 and with annual sales of approximately $ 500 million.

In the last week of March, mail order regulation increased 21% year-over-year. This brought its share of the prescription drug market to 5.8%, the highest level in at least two years, according to data from SunTrust Robinson Humphrey cited by the Wall Street Journal.