Issue 57 / Capsule Brings To The Forefront The Digital Age of Prescription Medicine

Capsule Brings To The Forefront The Digital Age of Prescription Medicine

Jul 10, 2016

No more waiting in line for prescriptions; with the accomplishment of two South Asians, New York City welcomes the first digital pharmacy, Capsule.  *Delivery services included.*

“Prescription delivery with love.” That is what the newest venture in pharmaceutical care, Capsule, is all about. The agitating experience of watching senior citizens getting stuck in the blood pressure machine, while you’re staring down those horrible candy temptations next to the register are gone. People are no longer going to be seen as standing bar codes.  Capsule’s goal is to be the chicken soup to your soul, the tissue to your runny nose, or the hand to hold when you process how much your medications actually cost. They are the “caring pharmacists who call you ‘dear’ and carry prescriptions straight to your door.”

Capsule's Motto.
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In May of 2016, Capsule opened its first pharmacy in New York City. This digital pharmacy is changing the way people receive, understand, and process their prescriptions. According to CEO and founder Eric Kinariwala, “It’s going to be a lot more efficient and faster.”  Kinariwala previously worked at Bain Capital and Perry Capital. After Kinariwala’s own nightmare of an experience with trying to get an out of stock medication, he connected with longtime friend and pharmacist Sonia Patel to reinvent the term “pharmacy”.   

Patel’s pharmaceutical background was with Walmart in troubleshooting underperforming pharmacies. Their goal was to “build a better, nicer, kinder, smarter pharmacy to make life simpler and healthier for everyone.”  Kinariwala points out that the U.S. pays more for healthcare than any other country, yet pharmacies aren’t working to keep its patients healthy.  He describes the industry as “too large, too broken, and too focused on squeezing every last dollar out of legacy business models to innovate.”

Ceo and Founder Eric Kinariwala alongside Chief Pharmacist Sonia Patel.
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Kinariwala and Patel sought out to diminish long wait times, problematic out of stock medications, the difficulty of obtaining refills, price discrepancies, and the lack of clarity, discretion, as well as comfort when seeking out medical guidance or awareness. 

“We realized how disconnected the pharmacy is from the rest of the health care system,” said Patel. “So, we set out to rebuild it from the inside out.”  With their new and improved technology and tools, Kinariwala and Patel have removed questions like “Why doesn’t my pharmacy or my doctor follow-up with me after I’m prescribed something? Why doesn’t anyone check-in to see if the medication is making me feel better or worse? Why doesn’t anyone try to help me remember to take my doses or remind me that I shouldn’t eat a grapefruit with my blood pressure medication? Why doesn’t my doctor know which therapies my insurance covers? Why don’t I know the cost of my medication before I get to the pharmacy? And why isn’t there a single, holistic experience that makes all of this happen?”

Capsule Delivery Service
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So, how does Capsule work?  Capsule can be downloaded as an app on your phone. This app connects directly with your doctor. These prescriptions are then delivered to your door at whatever time is convenient to you, just a mere two hours after your order. Delivery is free. Using their predictive inventory management system, prescriptions will never be out of stock. 

Doctors will be notified when prescriptions are picked up and patients will be notified when a refill is scheduled. Their digital platform also allows patients to connect with a pharmacist directly or privately via text or messenger when you have concerns. A Capsule pharmacist is available on demand whenever you need one. Their investment in technology and care, rather than stock space and shelves have proved rather successful.

“By building tools and harnessing data to connect medication back to the system, Capsule is the platform which modernizes medication, leading to better experiences and better health outcomes to everyone’s benefit”, says Kinariwala. Capsule has also taken those pesky fine print warnings off of prescription bottles. Patel developed, what she called, a “digital solution”. 

"We've broken down the information into bullet points that are easier to understand … important things you need to know" about a prescription, Patel said. "We send that over to you in a digital format, whether that's email, text or chat."
Capsule has made it clear that their values are centered on building trusting relationships. Kinariwala says it well by adding that, “We’ll never lose sight of the fact that behind all of the complexity of healthcare, we’re just people looking after other people.”

The convenience of Capsule
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Capsule plans to extend beyond New York City and wants to serve as many people as possible; however, Kinariwala says that they want to establish themselves in New York before announcing any other cities.

“As the old adage goes, ‘If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,'” said Kinariwala. “Though, ultimately, we believe everywhere across American deserves a better pharmacy, a smarter pharmacy.”

Main Image Photo Credit:

Shilpa Sehgal-Rajput


Shilpa Sehgal-Rajput is a freelance writer based in Chicago.  Reminiscing about her passion for writing during her college days, she has made her way back from the corporate world, armed with a lace pen.  When she’s not working on humorous short stories and epic novels, she’s living out her se...


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