Ride share giant Uber said it was jumping into the medication delivery business with the startup on-demand prescription platform NimbleRx.
The partnership has started in the Seattle and Dallas markets with plans to expand elsewhere in the U.S. in “the coming months,” Uber and Nimble Rx said Thursday. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
NimbleRx, which has about $500 million in annual revenue, said the partnership has the ability to grow given the startup works with more than 700 pharmacies in 34 states. The NimbleRx network tends to be pharmacy chains with 10 to 20 stores, but the relationship with Uber could be a draw to bigger chains and related drugstore network expansion.
Uber and its ride share rivals including Lyft continue to develop ways to tap into the fast-growing healthcare business, partnering with hospitals and health systems to make sure patients get to their appointments while signing contracts with health insurance companies, Medicare Advantage plans and state Medicaid programs to cover non-emergency medical transportation.
“We’re not just moving people,” Dan Trigub, head of Uber Health said in an interview. “We can get prescriptions into their home. We are integrating with a best-in-class pharmacy solution that pharmacies have access to and giving them the opportunity to provide delivery for their prescriptions.”
The Uber-NimbleRx partnership comes as big drugstore chains CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance invest more in their prescription home-delivery options and related technology following Amazon’s acquisition two years ago of the online pharmacy PillPack. By developing new ways to deliver prescriptions, those involved see a way to improve medication adherence given some studies show one in four prescriptions aren’t regularly picked up at the drugstore and an even greater percentage don’t take their drugs as directed.
In the Uber Health-NimbleRx partnership, the ride share company sees a fast-growing market of aging baby boomers with mounting prescription needs and Americans during a pandemic looking for on-demand prescription delivery to avoid in-person visits to pharmacies, drugstores and doctor’s offices amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Trigub said the NimbleRx relationship leverages the Uber Direct delivery platform launched earlier this year.
“Now more than ever, it is critical that people get their medications safely and efficiently, and over the last several months we have seen a significant increase in demand for prescription delivery from both consumers and retail pharmacies,” said NimbleRx founder and chief executive Talha Sattar, who says the average wait time for someone to receive a prescription will be less than 30 minutes. “It’s really and truly on-demand.”