Add this to your cart — New platform allows consumers to purchase naloxone online

Consumers who have felt too nervous to seek out a physician or pharmacist for naloxone can now purchase the lifesaving drug online.

James Lott, a former pharmacist, has witnessed firsthand the struggles patients face when obtain prescription drugs. To meet patient needs while also seeking to solve the rising opioid epidemic in the U.S., he founded Fiduscript, an online platform that allows consumers to purchase naloxone. 

Although it's in the early stages, Mr. Lott sees a bright future for Fiduscript. 

“In the future we want to touch on drug shortages,” Mr. Lott said. “With digital technology there is a lot of opportunity to combat drug shortages. This is not just for hospitals but individual consumers.” 

Below, Mr. Lott explains the challenges of making prescriptions available online as well as added access online availability brings. 

Editor’s note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length. 

Question: What motivated you to create Fiduscripts’ Naloxone Exchange? How has the site grown in the past few months? 

James Lott: In general, the concept came from the opioid crisis. We analyzed various priorities that organizations were exploring to solve the epidemic. What we found was that healthcare organizations wanted to learn how to distribute naloxone. We quickly turned our heads to think of ways we could distribute the prescription in a high volume. 

I had a little bit of background into the industry working as a pharmacist. As a pharmacist, I knew patients often didn’t want to talk about substance abuse disorders. By scaling the drug's availability, patients wouldn’t have to seek out pharmacists or physicians. I evaluated this assumption of patients by doing a survey online. Through the survey I confirmed that most people don’t feel comfortable talking to a pharmacist or physician about their substance abuse. 

As of now, Naloxone is available in Texas through the website. We wanted to validate that we're on the right track and targeting consumers correctly. We hope to learn from the Texas launch, to gain feedback on the best way to move forward. 

Q: Do you foresee other “highly-valued” prescriptions to become available to purchase online? If so, what other drugs or therapies? 

JL: When we started it was in the very early stages of prescriptions being available online. Now various companies are looking to make medications purchasable online. Industry leaders must keep an eye on it. In 10 years, it will be more normal to get any drugs online. But you have to be very careful. History has taught us that when you increase access it is a great thing, but there will need to be added protection to keep patients safe. 

Q: What challenges have you had to overcome when developing and launching Fiduscript? 

JL: I am not a technology expert. Being an entrepreneur in general is extremely challenging. One challenge is simply proving that you can actually make a product or service and create the team to do it. For us, this has required bringing together healthcare experts, engineers and lawyers, which is another challenge in itself.

Also, having to make this drug available to people where the states have such strict laws on the drug is challenging. Some of the states that you would think would be easy to make it available online, have laws that prevent us from doing so. 

Other challenges include getting your name out to consumers because search engines restrict online pharmacies. The federal government has rules to prevent fake pharmacies online. Another challenge is for payment processors. But there is a huge public benefit to making naloxone available online. 

Q: What is an unknown or underrated value of purchasing prescriptions or other medical services online? 

JL: Right now, when people think of direct to consumer medication, they think of hair thinners and other similar medication. While these are great to have easily accessible, we questioned why not put drugs that people need the most online. One reason we created Fiduscript is because we believe it is a right to have lifesaving medication online, especially ones that are of great need to the larger public. This brings care to patients in rural areas and busy patients. 

In a structured manner, I get a lot of questions about drugs being online. You need a prescription; there is insurance; you need a relationship with a physician, and then you need the pharmacy. The medication needs to be stable in appropriate weather, and if there is a shipping delay, the medication cannot spoil. Although we are giving patients more access to medication, the care needs to be equally impactful. 

Q: In the coming months or years, what’s next for Fiduscript? 

JL: First things first, I am happy to say the company’s name has changed to Script Health. We are a friendly face that gives patients access. We are starting with naloxone, and we have big plans for other medications in several years. By the end of the year, we expect to have the drug available online through our site in all 50 states. In a couple of months, we will do a huge launch. 

We are building the kind of healthcare we see is necessary. The current model is people looking at value propositions. We are looking at which drugs will save the most lives and making them more available. 

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