Americans spend $1200 per year per capita on prescription medication and this spending has increased rapidly over the last decade. Transparency in drug pricing is completely non-existent with consumers not easily able to compare prices across different pharmacies and channels. Carecard is a prescription drug marketplace that offers substantial savings (up to 85%) whether you have insurance or not. The startup is partnered with over 35,000 pharmacy locations nationwide including the major big-box chains like CVS and Walgreens. All consumers have to do is search the online database to see where the best deals are available and present the company’s discount card when they are checking out to receive the discount. The company monetizes through referral fees, licensing its technology, and ad revenue.
AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Founder David Hannon to learn about the state of the prescription medicine market, the company’s recent launch, and future growth plans.
Tell us about the product or service that Carecard offers.
Carecard is a prescription drug marketplace that offers free prescription prices and discounts on 10,000+ FDA approved medications. More than 35,000 pharmacies have partnered with Carecard to offer up to 85% off prescription medicine. We negotiate discounts from pharmacies and manufacturers and pass the savings on to you at no cost. So with or without insurance, Carecard allows you to access the savings you deserve. A 10-second search could save you hundreds.
Most people have no idea that drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies and that oftentimes the insurance price isn’t always your best bet. Carecard is helping to create an efficient market by adding transparency and optionality to what has historically been an opaque industry. It’s really simple to use. Just search your medication on carecard.co, find a coupon, and save big at the pharmacy register. The best part…it’s 100% free to use.
How is it different?
At Carecard, we believe that feeling better shouldn’t cost a fortune. Our advanced technology and relationships with the big pharmacies mean we can set lower prices on tens of thousands of medications. When I started Carecard, I wanted to make a positive impact at a community level. By providing affordable prescription healthcare at the lowest cost possible, we believe the financial savings that our members achieve will have a huge impact on their lives and give them access to practical, affordable healthcare solutions. We want to extend those savings to as many people as possible. That is why we work with a variety of organizations, nonprofits, and healthcare providers. Many underserved communities simply don’t know that these opportunities exist and we’re raising awareness to help everyone save on their prescriptions and to make healthcare more affordable. We are sending a portion of our net proceeds to support charitable initiatives for small businesses, healthcare debt, and those affected by Covid-19. We’re happy to support long- time giving partners on the front lines of affordable health.
What market does Carecard target and how big is it?
Over $450 Billion is spent on prescriptions every year in the United States. We aim to support everyone who takes prescription medicine. Our technology gives all Americans access to affordable prescriptions, regardless of insurance status.
What is the business model?
Carecard generates revenue by selling its technology and ads, as well as through referral fees.
What inspired the start of Carecard?
The genesis of Carecard came when I went to the pharmacy and my prescription was over $200. I was surprised (and confused) because I had great insurance at the time and could not believe the staggering price tag. I took a deeper dive into our healthcare system over the next few months. I spoke with insiders and investors that I knew and it became clear that I could make the biggest difference starting in the prescription space. Carecard was born soon after.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business?
Healthcare is a major concern for all Americans, from employers to nonprofit organizations to each consumer, everyone acknowledges the problems created when spiraling costs force people to choose between taking care of their health or paying bills. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has accelerated this by displacing millions of workers (5+ million have workers lost their employer-provided health insurance in the past few months). Many people do not have access to coverage through a job, and some remain ineligible for financial assistance for coverage. With 30+ Million uninsured in the U.S., consumers who buy out-of-network pay the most, creating a financial burden many can’t support. Carecard is here to help.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We are in hyper-growth mode with new product developments, hiring, and partnerships. At the moment we are heads down building the best team in the industry and building an effortless customer experience that helps every American save on their prescription meds.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Speak to your customers as often as possible. Understand their pain points. Their stories are powerful and can often shed light on where your product or offering needs improvement. In this space, it is nearly impossible to build great products in a vacuum. I always try to talk to at least one customer a day.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
We are always looking for great organizations that we can help. That is why we partner with a variety of member groups and healthcare providers. We’re happy to work with any member groups that could use access to affordable prescriptions for their constituents.
Why did you launch in New York?
I’ve lived in New York City since 2013 and the energy here is contagious. There is no better place to launch a company in my opinion.
What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC?
You can find me at Ruby’s in Nolita at least once a week.