Amanda Epp, Scriptdrop CEO joins the On the Move panel to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on Scriptdrop and the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry as a whole.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Something else we're adjusting to is the way that we might get prescriptions filled for medications that we take. So let's invite into the stream right now Amanda Epp, Script Drop's CEO. She's joining us from Columbus, Ohio. And your platform, ScriptDrop, is among the largest prescription delivery platforms in the country. Is that accurate?
AMANDA EPP: Yes, correct. We partner with--
ADAM SHAPIRO: Yeah.
AMANDA EPP: We partner with pharmacies and logistics partners across the US. So we are the broadest and the biggest network.
ADAM SHAPIRO: So I wanted to ask you, though, what has the pandemic and everybody now doing everything via delivery sped up as far as your field?
AMANDA EPP: Yeah. I mean, the pandemic really had a prolific impact on how consumer behavior has shifted. How they access health care, specifically medications, has just dramatically shifted, where they're demanding a way to receive prescriptions to their home.
So a great example is the last six months. 15% of all doctor's visits were conducted via telehealth. And that's up 8% from 2019. So consumers are looking for an option to keep them safe and not have to go to the pharmacy.
JULIE HYMAN: Amanda, it's Julie here. At the same time, a lot of doctor's visits just weren't happening, particularly in the beginning of this pandemic and particularly things like well visits and sort of routine visits. And so I wonder how the flow has shifted during this. Like, in April/May, were you seeing people just not get prescriptions filled because they weren't able to get them because they weren't going to the doctor, and then a sort of catch-up effect?
AMANDA EPP: Yes. Definitely, Julie. It's been an interesting ride. So starting from pre-COVID to post-COVID-- well, pre-COVID to peak COVID, we saw a 363% increase in our delivery volume. But now it's really started to level out, just because, you know, at that peak in March and April, we were seeing folks get, you know, more 90-day pills to stock up.
But then-- yeah, really in May, we started to see those visits not happening, elective procedures not happening. So it's been a lot of up and down. But a huge peak in April.
JARED BLIKRE: Hi, Amanda. Jared Blikre here. Just wanted to ask you about your space. Is it crowded in prescription delivery? Is there a lot of room for expansion? And then are there any big players, like Amazon or Walmart, who might impinge on some of the smaller startups here?
AMANDA EPP: Yeah, definitely. And that's a great question. I mean, because of the pandemic, a lot of folks that weren't interested in prescription delivery are starting to be interested in figuring out how to move medications and get them in the hands of patients.
But ScriptDrop has always taken the approach-- we've been a little bit different-- because we know, as healthcare experts, pharmacies are important in this ecosystem. So we partner with pharmacies, pharmacy partners, like your Albertsons and your Publix, in order to pick up from their pharmacy and deliver it to the patient. We're not a pharmacy ourselves or compete with pharmacies-- you know, like your PillPack or other digital type pharmacies.
ADAM SHAPIRO: When we see consolidation as a potential within this whole field, does that pose any threat to you as a delivery mechanism for the partners you have now, who may get swallowed by larger entities?
AMANDA EPP: Yeah. I think, of course, in health care, the ecosystem is going to shift over time. But pharmacies will always be an important part of that. The pharmacist is the number two most trusted profession. So you connect with your pharmacy. You want to understand where your medication is coming from. So I do think prescription delivery and kind of the way we've approached it will always be something in the market.
ADAM SHAPIRO: And very quickly, there's another issue regarding pharmacy, as I remember years ago, seeing at UPS's facility in Lexington a huge pharmaceutical factory-- not factory, but warehouse they had-- with refrigeration units, because they're doing overnight delivery. Do you even engage in that kind of the pharmaceuticals that might have to be refrigerated or the things that people need that might have a time-sensitive delivery? Is that a part of your portfolio?
AMANDA EPP: Yes. So we offer what we like to call an on-demand delivery. So you're going to get that within one to two hours. So our platform allows pharmacies to schedule, you know, a delivery on demand-- which is more of this temp-control product-- same day delivery, or we can even ship it to you.