A digital and mobile healthcare company that streamlines the process of filling prescriptions for life-saving specialty drugs has raised $25 million.
ZappRX, a Boston digital health company that develops and markets an app and database services used by patients, physicians, and pharmacists for the management of specialty medications, will use the money for general business and marketing development, says founder and CEO Zoë Barry. The company also intends to hire software engineers and other specialists.
The company’s service addresses the hassle facing patients who frequently must fill out reams of paper forms to get a prescription for expensive specialty drugs used to treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Coordinating paper prescription request and fulfillment forms between payers, providers, patients and pharmacies can take weeks to complete, and the patient has no way to track progress or get updates online, Barry says.
ZappRX says its mobile app and database eliminates paper work and faxes for physicians that write specialty medicine prescriptions and pharmacies that fill such prescriptions. Providers and pharmacies that connect to the ZappRX database information exchange network can expedite prescription faster referrals and with legible and more complete information, the company says.
Certain specialty drugs used to treat chronic conditions in categories like oncology, pulmonology, rheumatology, neurology and gastroenterology often cost $100,000, require providers to fill out 30-page request and referral forms and take up to eight weeks to fill a prescription, the company says.
Patients seeking an update have limited ways to get information, such as follow-up calls to the doctor or specialty pharmacy. The ZappRX app lets patients sign electronic patient consent forms, update health insurance information and track the status of their prescription. The free app is available for Apple and Android devices.
ZappRX hasn’t disclosed how many patients have downloaded the app, but says, “the ZappRx platform is currently being used in several prominent academic medical centers and large multi-specialty practices in the U.S.”
ZappRX says there is a substantial opportunity to use digital and mobile healthcare technology to automate processes related to the growing market for specialty drugs. “In the past five years, the $100 billion market for specialty drugs has nearly doubled1and is projected to reach $400 billion by 2020,” the company says.
Since launching in 2013, ZappRX has raised more than $41 million in investor funding. The latest round of funding was led by Qiming, a healthcare venture capital firm based in Seattle.