Online Prescription Delivery
In June 2018, Amazon acquired PillPack, an online pharmacy startup, for around $1 billion.
Cherry Street Pharmacy aims to be the next acquisition target with its “One-stop pharmacy solution.”
This company offers a wide range of healthcare services — from prescription delivery, to personalized health recommendations, to medication management programs. Starting in 2021, it will also offer “telehealth” services, featuring virtual clinic sessions with nurses and physicians assistants.
Cherry Street offers all the services of large, national pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreens. But what separates this startup from its competitors is its mission to offer its services to underserved areas.
To start, the company selected California’s Central Valley for its initial brick and mortar location. This is a medically underserved area with a shortage of healthcare providers.
At its physical location, customers can order prescription refills or transfers, over-the-counter medications, or discount generic prescriptions. Online, they can arrange for prescription delivery six days per week, and use a mobile app to check on medications, read health news, and communicate with the pharmacy. (For patients that don’t have a smartphone, Cherry Street offers two-way text messaging capabilities.)
Another service that makes Cherry Street unique is its focus on helping customers adhere to their medication plans. The company has packaging services designed to help patients keep better track of their medications — for example, multi-dose packaging that bundles a patient’s medications together by date and time.
Cherry Street also serves as a long-term care pharmacy. In other words, it provides consulting pharmacy services and medications to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. It works with these places to provide continuous access to pharmacists and emergency delivery services.
Cherry Street generates revenue from prescription sales, as well as sales of services its pharmacists and employees provide to outside healthcare facilities.
Since launching in 2017, Cherry Street has generated $7 million in revenue, including $3 million in 2019. This 2019 figure was a 106% increase from 2018.
In July 2020, the company filled 6,170 prescriptions, a record-high. And in August 2020, it partnered with NimbleRx, an on-demand digital prescription platform that recently signed a delivery partnership with Uber.
Through this partnership, anyone within a specific area of the Cherry Street Pharmacy that uses Uber will be asked if they would use the pharmacy to get their medications delivered. If so, Uber will send the data to NimbleRx, which will compare their information against Cherry Street’s patient database.
Cherry Street is raising capital to expand its business. In August 2020, it acquired a second brick-and-mortar location, which it expects to open in 2021.
Dr. Liu founded Cherry Street Pharmacy in 2017 after a career in the clinical pharmacy industry.
Most recently, he worked in Walmart’s specialty pharmacy program, where he led a variety of efforts. These included the development of the pharmacy program and its expansion to multiple states.
Prior to that, he gained experience in the biology market, working as a research associate with Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont company. He worked primarily in the discovery department, responsible for uncovering new scientific proteins. Before this, he was a research associate at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Liu earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the University of Arizona and a Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Hawaii.