First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Amanda Epp: Thank you for asking. Certainly, it has been an adjustment for all, but we are doing well and making the best things. If there has been any silver-lining, during the stay-at-home-orders, I was able to spend more time with my husband and daughter.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined ScriptDrop.
Amanda Epp: Before joining ScriptDrop, I was the first hired employee at CoverMyMeds, a healthcare IT company that sold for more than $1 billion to McKesson Corporation in 2017. At CoverMyMeds, I played an integral role in the company’s exponential growth and eventually became Director of New Product Implementation. I joined ScriptDrop as one of their first employees and served as president before assuming the CEO position.
How does ScriptDrop innovate?
Amanda Epp: It is important to point out that ScriptDrop’s core mission is to expand access to medication across the globe. We believe that medication should be as accessible as any other e-commerce platform that enables one-click orders. We are innovative and unique in that we allow consumers to fill prescriptions from their preferred pharmacy, delivered to their doorstep. We are a prescription delivery solution, not a dispensing pharmacy. We leave filling medication to pharmacists — instead, we partner with pharmacies small and large to deliver directly to consumers. Additionally, we partner with a vast network of courier companies to ensure timely delivery of medications via our simplified texting solution.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Amanda Epp: We are coping well. The reality is that ScriptDrop, even prior to the pandemic, was already growing rather quickly, but solely in the business-to-business space as we didn’t yet have a consumer-facing component though it was on our product road map. Then COVID-19 hit, and something as simple and, for some, critical to their health and wellbeing, such as picking up their medication, was deemed dangerous. With social distancing orders staying in effect for weeks, it also impacted pharmacists who needed additional options for home delivery. That was the driver for us as a company to fast-track our consumer-facing offering.
As a result, in March of this year, we launched our patient-initiated delivery solution to help vulnerable patients during the COVID-19 crisis. Patient-initiated delivery was always part of the company’s long-term plan. We decided to accelerate the launch of the platform to support the growing needs of consumers during the pandemic. Completing a patient-facing product in such a short time frame was a bold move that helped us grow its list of partners exponentially. We also experienced a 363% delivery volume increase from February to April 2020, and between last year at this time, and this year there was a 220% increase in revenue (2019-2020).
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Amanda Epp: As CEO, there are always difficult choices to make, and the pandemic compounded that on many levels. As I mentioned, prior to COVID-19, ScriptDrop was already expanding rapidly, and we had plans in place to hire more staff to support that growth, but there was simply no way to predict the long-term ramifications. Do we hire or put a freeze on that initiative?
The executive team decided to forge ahead with our plans to bring on more staff, and we went from a business of 89 employees to more than 170, including part-timers and temps. This kind of growth, even without a pandemic to navigate, comes at very high risk. If our technology and new consumer delivery solution had issues, we could have lost the trust of both the pharmacists and consumers using the delivery service. Perhaps the best lesson learned was that I have a truly dedicated and resilient team who were able to take on new and challenging responsibilities during the pandemic. They just dug in and got the job done. If something did not work – we just kept trying.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Amanda Epp: The ecosystem of prescription delivery and healthcare IT solutions is growing rapidly with several players, but I believe that is a good thing for the industry as a whole. Competition drives us to consistently improve all aspects of our business. We plan to stay in the game with continuous innovation, new and better services, and making the customer experience as seamless as possible. We also recently closed our growth fund round, bringing the total to $27 million since the company’s inception in 2017. With the funding, we will expand operations and expedite new partnerships to add our growing list of partners, including prominent pharmacies.
Your final thoughts?
Amanda Epp: I don’t believe any of us could have adequately prepared for what the pandemic has thrown our way, but if there has been any positives, which I say cautiously, often the most challenging of times forces business to sink or swim. The ScriptDrop team has certainly risen to the occasion, and we are excited about what the future holds for the company well beyond the pandemic.