The startup, which delivers medications to people's home at no additional cost, is in trouble. At the end of April, PillPack will be shut out by the network of Express Scripts Holding, a company that manages pharmacy benefits for millions of people on behalf of health insurers. In one fell swoop, the startup will lose thousands of customers (about a third of its customer base). "We are removing PillPack from our networks this month because it misrepresented itself," Express Scripts Holdings wrote in a statement.
But David Goldsmith, a health-technology consultant, believes that this a competitive move: "Pharmacy benefits managers, like Express Scripts, are inherently monopolistic and are known to snuff out potential threats," he told me. T.J. Parker, Pillpack's CEO shared in a blog post that moves like these are how "health care stays broken."
Since the announcement this morning, PillPack's customers have jumped to its defense. As one Internet commenter put it: "The convenience of not having so many pill bottles scattered all over the kitchen is priceless. I also agree that you sound like a lot of whiners. Get over yourself! Do the right thing."
Man, people are super pissed about Express Scripts dropping PillPack. pic.twitter.com/MJTIWe4Imf— Dylan Martin (@DylanLJMartin) April 14, 2016