The company is one of the brightest stars in the Columbus tech scene, reporting around $1 million in monthly revenue and still growing at a rate of 20 percent to 30 percent per month.

Editor's note: In response to COVID-19, ScriptDrop recently launched a nationwide patient-initiated prescription delivery solution. Learn more at scriptdrop.co/covid19.

When he was one of the early employees with Columbus health-care solutions provider CoverMyMeds, Nicholas Potts began to ponder a problem the pharmaceutical industry calls medication abandonment. “I saw that when a patient drops off a prescription, if they don’t leave the pharmacy with it due to the pharmacy being backed up or insurance issues filling the prescription, about one in four times that patient never returns for that drug,” Potts says. 

That’s a problem for the patient’s health and also for the pharmacy and potentially even the patient’s insurance provider, which could be on the hook for more expensive treatment or an emergency room visit down the line. So Potts launched ScriptDrop to improve the chances that patients would take their medications. 

The company’s ability to solve that problem has taken it from its launch in 2018 to being one of the brightest stars in the Columbus tech scene, reporting around $1 million in monthly revenue and still growing at a rate of 20 percent to 30 percent per month.

Potts leveraged his experience with pharmacy management systems at CoverMyMeds to create a highly efficient and deeply networked medication home-delivery system that now stretches across the country.

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The key is ScriptDrop integrates into a pharmacy’s systems so that a pharmacist does not have to use a separate system—or even make a phone call. “We also source the courier for you. Rather than a one-to-one relationship with a single driver who may or may not show, ScriptDrop establishes those relationships with couriers to guarantee patients get the prescriptions they need,” Potts says.

ScriptDrop now serves more than 2,000 Albertsons pharmacy locations and thousands more independent stores and smaller chains. Its first relationships were with smaller and independent community pharmacies, which represent about 40 percent of the market in the U.S., Potts says. They generate about 70 percent of ScriptDrop’s revenue and are the fastest growing portion of the business.

“Their delivery volume on a day-to-day basis is nine to 10 times that of a chain store,” Potts says. But serving giants such as CVS and Walgreens always has been part of the plan. In fact, ScriptDrop’s seed investor says he wouldn’t have invested if ScriptDrop’s target was solely the community pharmacy market.

Vic Gatto, founder and CEO of Jumpstart Foundry, a health-care investment fund based in Nashville, had Kroger as a client. It was seeking solutions for medication abandonment when he came across the nascent ScriptDrop in 2016. Jumpstart made a $150,000 seed investment in the startup. The larger chains needed the same back-room solutions to solve the same pain felt by the independent pharmacies, and Gatto says that was the promise he saw. He says the company’s growth potential is enormous.

ScriptDrop began serving Albertsons patients in 2018. A Kroger launch is also in progress.

New avenues promise even more rapid expansion. ScriptDrop has begun working with hospital systems to deliver patient meds directly from a health-care center’s own pharmacy. More hospital system partnerships are on tap for 2020, Potts says. 

ScriptDrop also is competing for business with several insurers looking to offer delivery as a member benefit. And the company works with  mail order pharmacies to smooth the chain from pharmacy to shipper using ScriptDrop’s relationships with the U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx.

The ScriptDrop team grew from 14 to more than 90 last year, and Potts says it may double that this year. He projects revenue for 2020 of around $30 million. The company has raised between $9 million and $10 million and soon will announce another $20 million to $25 million in funding, with Jumpstart co-leading the round with the Ohio Innovation Fund. 

“This is a $10 billion, $20 billion opportunity,” says Gatto.

Cynthia Bent Findlay is a freelance writer.