Zipdrug is a convenient and safe way for patients in NYC to receive their medications delivered straight to their door without having to step foot inside a pharmacy. Millions of people are spending hours wasted in the long lines of local pharmacies. Staying healthy starts at your local pharmacy, and with Zipdrug you’ll get everything you need to stay healthy without wasting a second of your valuable time. I had the honor of speaking with Zipdrug’s founder and CEO Stu Libby. Here’s what he shared with me:
Jay: Are customers nervous about having their medications delivered by someone they don’t know at all?
Stu: Not at all. In fact, an important factor when building technology like Zipdrug is to anticipate what your potential customers might be hesitant about, and design it in a way that immediately alleviates any of those possible concerns. As far as our delivery team goes, everybody goes through background screens and rigorous interviews before they are invited to join Zipdrug. They take their job very seriously, and customers can track their medication from the moment it leaves the pharmacy until it is delivered to their door. In addition, we have done extensive research and we’re able to tell patients when we deliver what discounts they are eligible to take advantage of. Most of the time the patients have no idea they were able to use such discounts, and ultimately they are extremely happy with our reliable service, as well as the money we’ve been able to help them save.
Jay: How would you measure your success so far? Are you seeing a steady amount of new subscribers?
Stu: We take tremendous pride in the rate that our customer base has been growing. We’ve basically doubled every month since we’ve started. But more impressive is our repeat usage rates. Convincing people to try new things is great but having them come back again and again is really validating.
Jay: Let me back up a minute: You’ve worked successfully with Google, Solve Media and some other great companies. With no prior experience in health care, what made you decide to jump into such a complicated industry?
Stu: While my work at Google was certainly working on the financial side, I saw this as an opportunity to do a lot more than make money. Zipdrug has identified a way to literally keep people healthy. Being that I take prescription medications, I know the annoyance of waiting in long pharmacy lines.
I’ve always been in a hurry, and when I found myself in line at the pharmacy I’ve always thought to myself “there’s got to be a better way”. I keep a list of all the ideas that come to me throughout the day, so I added Zipdrug while at the pharmacy one time. It wasn’t till much later when my Dad had a serious cardiac incident that I decided the time had come to get up and act. I remember being in the hospital with him and hearing the nurses stress the fact that it was extremely important that he stay on top of his medication. When we finally left the hospital we looked around for the medication and realized that while they were so adamant about taking the meds, they never paid attention to actually giving him the medicine to take upon discharge.
Jay: Sounds terrible, and extremely dangerous. Does this type of situation happen often?
Stu: You’re not going to believe this Jay, but I started doing research and discovered that 1 out of 3 prescriptions written are never filled. Do you know what that means?! Aside from everything else, it means that thousands of people a day are not getting their medications, which in turn means those people are in danger. This leads to unnecessary hospital visits, re-admissions and pre-mature deaths that can be prevented.
Jay: Where do you see this headed? Can you get into other states?
Stu: Absolutely! There is no reason why we can’t be everywhere in the US. Zipdrug saves people time, money and best of all – keeps them healthy. But before we do that, we want to perfect our system on every level before we move out.
Jay: Are you afraid that others will get wind of this and begin to copy your idea? How are you going to move fast enough before someone else starts offering the same service?
Stu: You know what Jay, I think that is the defining measure of a real entrepreneur – you should never be afraid that someone is going to steal your idea. My job is to out execute everybody else. We have spared nothing to make sure every aspect of the business runs with the highest quality possible. In addition, you’ve got to be crazy to think you can create a successful business alone; especially something like Zipdrug which lives within a complex healthcare ecosystem. You’ve got to reach out to anyone and everyone who can help you, not contain it. And if you see someone else trying to do what you’re doing, remember competition is the best form of flattery, but don’t let them out hustle you.
Stu is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zipdrug. While Stu has worked in many prominent companies such as Google, Solve Media and others, Stu has taken a special appreciation in co-founding Zipdrug. On his watch there are thousands of people who are now receiving their medications quickly and cost effectively. As Stu’s motto, “Great health starts at your local pharmacy” and it’s never been this easy!