Video Of The Week: Nurx

Our portfolio company Nurx provides prescriptions via an app on your mobile phone.

The initial offerings are birth control and HIV prevention medications, but they will add other prescriptions in the future.

This news report talks about their launch in Texas this summer which was extremely successful.

#hacking healthcare

Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    so delivery must be to a Texas postal address, but can people not registered as residents of Texas make use of the service by having delivery to a friend’s et.c. address in Texas?’nur’ = just/ only in German. you wish. might get sued by Apple though.;)

  2. awaldstein

    The broader issue here that will ripple downstream is the end of the drugstore.Today they are struggling and sell far more of sundries then prescriptions and with the advent of free shipping, Amazon and more, the only reason to go is to pickup a prescriptions.Now it seems–and I say good–it goes away.

    1. Richard

      The idea that a young woman doesn’t develop a relationship with a doctor as she develops is short sighted. I would ask any of the founders of this team what advice they would give to their own daughters.

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      It feels like Walgreens is becoming the new Woolworth, and I love it (the photo service is great, too). Our prescriptions are just a tiny part of what I go in there for. Oftentimes the reason I go to Walgreens, instead of the grocery store, is to get in and out fast. When I just need Ibuprofen and dog treats, I don’t want to have to get behind the person feeding a family of 6 for the month to check out.

      1. awaldstein

        Understand.In the city its all Duane Reade mostly except for a few apothecaries.But honestly I buy damn little there–cat treats and food (online), supplies online (amazon).There’s an intersection of Amazon getting better, DR getting worse and WF filling in the places in between.Different reality in a carless environment I think.

        1. LE

          In the case of Duane Reade (Walgreens) the major asset is no doubt the long leases and renewal options that they almost certainly have for ( from what I read ) their 250 stores. That foot traffic is worth it’s weight in bitcoin to sell something. (Last public data; may have changed).If DR is getting worse it’s because it can. It’s probably one of the few examples of a business operating in NYC I am guessing which can actually get away with that type of behavior in NYC.

        2. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Ah well, it sounds like you’re better organized than I am. By the time I need Ibuprofen, I’ve run out and can’t wait for Amazon πŸ™‚ But I suppose it won’t be long until I just have them deliver it in an hour.

          1. awaldstein

            except in the city as you know we have these things called delis that are still everywhere that sell everything from salad to one packs of anything to umbrellas when it is raining. i needed a tennis ball to fluff up a down coat i washed and guess what…

          2. Kirsten Lambertsen

            True, and I’d rather give them my business πŸ™‚ Here in suburbia, it’s Walgreens, I’m afraid. I’d love it if it were more like the city.

          3. awaldstein

            spend 25% time in LA on the West Side and in many way, like the burbs as I think of it and head to the Walgreens on Pico and Lincoln as well.

      2. PhilipSugar

        Look up Dollar General…..more stores than Starbucks 15,000. Opening another 1,000 this year.This is where the Echo Chamber just resonates……

    3. JamesHRH

      Everything they do, someone else does better?

  3. BillMcNeely

    You invest Texas companies? Nice! What happened to

    1. sigmaalgebra

      First cut, sounds like a silly investment for AVC.Second cut, I’ll guess: Well on the way is the situation of people buying pharmaceuticals on-line, e.g., via a smartphone app. So, now, soon or eventually all the data security, encryption, malware security, product handling security, fraud monitoring and detection, the many issues about medical insurance and payments, payment security, prescription submission and security, legally required prescription patient information, prescription contraindications and safety, legal liability, legal issues about licensed pharmacists needed to sell pharmaceutical drugs to consumers, maybe some legal issues about selling/shipping across state lines, maybe across country borders, etc. will get done. Whew! Gee, now I notice: My startup has no such issues! How I hate such issues and, thus, get reminded of how much I should like my startup!But, wait, there’s more! From the side of the pharmaceutical companies, i.e., the sell side, there are some big issues about what drugs to sell, how to sell them, e.g., with “detail men” visiting physicians and handing over free samples, with a significant optimization problem there (think the W. Cunningham strongly feasible modification of the integer linear programming network simplex algorithm, possibly with some Lagrangian relaxation — no, not AI, just applied math much more powerful than AI for such a problem, and BTW, NOT simulated annealing), what new drugs might sell how well, how to price the drugs, etc. So, with the additional data and data collection and data accuracy opportunities of on-line ordering, the pharmaceutical companies stand to be interested.Then, likely, inexorably, patients will move to ordering their prescription drugs on-line and getting delivery directly to their homes. Ah, the arrival of the pleasure drones!Then there will stand to be some serious disintermediation where, basically, the patients buy from farther up the supply chain and, eventually, directly from the pharmaceutical companies.Then due to that long list of issues, some big players, maybe Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Amazon, CVS, the pharmaceutical companies, maybe some hospital pharmacies in some big hospital chains, maybe the VA, connections with Medicare/aid, ObozoCare, single payer purple dino BarneyCare, the old dream of Hillary (kick back, pay to play) Care, some Halloween dream of Schumer-PelosiCare, and more, will get interested in M&A with an existing, proven, with traction, solution. Gee, at least so far we are still alive, but no promises about tomorrow! But, Schumer stands to be reelected, right, from his dream votes from Kazakhstan?A network effect? Well, the first good solution, with good traction and the most traction, with some proprietary data protocols, APIs, etc., stands to become a point of central flow, a natural monopoly, where all the sellers, e.g., all the pharmaceutical companies, use that solution because all the patients do and all the patients use that solution because all the sellers do, and the M&A goes for big bucks. Then, sure, anyone who needs a course of anti-biotic will need their own smartphone; or, sure, they will just use any standard Web browser on whatever computer and connect to a suitable Web site with all the needed security; that is, a smartphone need not be essential, and, as usual, for the UI, a Web site stands to be much easier for everyone and plenty good enough.So, with this guess, what AVC just invested in was not just a Texas centered little thingy but a development project for all the issues, the API, the proprietary data protocols, etc.Why Texas? Maybe because of its bigger size and, a wild guess, fewer restrictions, regulations, etc. So, do well in the nicely big and bigly nice sandbox of Texas, use that as a revenue base, and then expand to the US and the world.That’s my guess.But will want to do some fraud monitoring and detection, right? So, for some first-cut math, suppose we have some positive integer n, the set R of real numbers, a real valued function f: R^n –> R, and a random variable X taking values in R^n. Suppose for any permutation s of the components of any x in R^n, f(s(X)) is identically distributed. Then for any set A a subset of R, P(f(s(X)) in A) is the same for each of the n! permutations s. Then, with suitable but meager assumptions, the sum of the P(f(s(X)) in A) over the n! s is 1 and P(f(s(X)) in A) = 1/n! How ’bout that! There may be some missing details, but this is roughly correct!Likely this is both generalization and support of the intuitive technique of P. Diaconis and B. Efron of resampling.Uh, it’s definitely not AI or ML!There may be some good connections with a paper on independence by M. Talagrand.All this makes me like my startup much more! Back to it! For some internal infrastructure, I need some scripts, at least two. I got one done last night, and if I keep going I have a shot at getting the second one done still today!The script does some important work, so I programmed in lots of checks and reports. Do any little thing wrong in the input, and the script says in clear terms just what the heck was wrong. If get all the inputs correct, then the reports show nicely the steps to the solution. So, it’s fun to use: That is, just type in a simple command, and right away the script does nice things. That’s part of the fun of software: Get a situation where the user does only a little and the software does a lot!Gee, last night I watched again the old Carl Sagan movie Contact. Finally I noticed it mentioned Einstein-Rosen, that is, EPR or the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen “spooky action at a distance” paradox. Yup, apparently EPR is still an issue! If I get a solution, I’ll let everyone know! Maybe I’ll attack EPR after my startup is done! That would be more fun than the startup! But, first finish the startup!

  4. Richard

    Let’s eliminate the middleman not add one with a new name.The cheapest way to to get prescriptions is to have your doctor write for a 90 day fill. Many drugs can be filled for 90 days for less than $15, And copay on contraceptives are typically waived.https://uploads.disquscdn.c… It’s past time for big pharma (for some Rx) to sell direct to consumers.

    1. aminTorres

      I think this is more about scale than adding or removing a middleman.The truth is, it is hard for people to get a face to face meeting with a doctor that works around their schedule. Your anual physical is one thing, but having to physically go to a doctor’s office once a month or even every 90 days is not something doctors can scale easily.If I were to need to go to my doctor to get a prescription filled, it will take me more time to get to her office + in a waiting room + making it back to my work/apartment at each of these steps than the face to face time with the doctor.I may be wrong tho.

      1. JLM

        .By law a prescription for a controlled prescription/medicine/substance can only be refilled twice.You can get 90 days at a time.You can therefore get 90 days x 3 = 270 days.Most insurance companies have a problem with more than 30 days.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. aminTorres

          yes, different point tho.

          1. JLM

            .Point being you could go as infrequently as every 270 days.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  5. JamesHRH

    As I shuttle between CVS & Walgreens alongside Memorial Dr in Houston, this app has appeal.An Rx isn’t really an Rx unless you can get it fulfilled. Fulfilment by Amazon, eventually? Pharmacies become home based businesses?Beware travellers to HTx – bad strep bug in town.

  6. JLM

    .Honor and respect to the warriors who answered the call of our Nation to serve in times of great peril. We are a free people because of these men.To my fellow veterans, bravo for your service and courage. You did not quibble, you did not equivocate, you went in harm’s way, you risked everything.It was my greatest honor to serve with such men and to be entrusted with the lives of mother’s sons.Today is your day, Veterans. Salute!A grateful Nation salutes your sacrifices.JLM http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar

  7. JLM

    .I am a little surprised that a patient can obtain a Rx without a physical examination.There is a huge controversy in regard to remote examination via video and Rx’s.In the end, this is a substitute middleman, not the elimination of a middleman.Canadian pharmacies have been doing this for years. For many years, this was considered to be illegal.Canadian drugs are about 23% of US prices.There is a lot of concern about “wet” Rx’s. Original signatures v digital copies.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Richard

      Birth control sound like asprin, it’s a hormone and should never beUsed without having a treating physician.

  8. Matt A. Myers

    Is Nurx only going to make available prescriptions from suppliers they have agreements with, or will they facilitate/support any entrant with an approved product – generic or otherwise? E.g. Is there going to be a mechanism of lock-in to provide Nurx with a revenue/profit stream (not great for consumers), or the reverse where consumers are en masse and that mass is used to negotiate?