• Type to search or press enter for full results.
Type to search or press enter for full results.

 

 

Revolutionizing Pharmacy
Episode

James Lott, Founder and CEO of Script Health

Revolutionizing Pharmacy

In this episode, I have the privilege of hosting James Lott , founder and CEO of Script Health. ScriptHealth is a health tech startup providing easy and safer access to prescription drugs. It’s first public health initiative is to address the opioid crisis through the Naloxone exchange, allowing consumers to purchase the life-saving medication with ease. So far, the company has sent Naloxone to over 40 states. 

Script Health also developed Scripted, a platform that enables patients with or without insurance to get the same day care for common conditions at the local pharmacy.

James discusses Script Health, the Naloxone Exchange, and Scripted. He also shares his thoughts on providing better access to care for people who choose to self-care, as well as some of his experiences and setbacks as an entrepreneur. 

Access to care does not always have to be through the doctor’s office. Script Health is offering a new way to do it, so make sure to tune in to learn more!

Want to start your own podcast or offload the busywork of your current podcast to the pros?

Smooth Podcasting is the producer of our podcast. They help us deliver high quality audio, show notes, transcripts, podcast marketing, and so much more. We totally recommend them!

Check out Smooth Podcasting!

Get The Latest In Your Inbox

SUBSCRIBE

Revolutionizing Pharmacy

About James Lott

James is the founder and CEO of Script Health. He has over a decade of experience in the pharmacy setting, including serving as the former Pharmacy Manager and Adjunct Instructor teaching pharmacy law. 

He was recognized in Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40, is the recipient of the Commitment to Action Award by the Clinton Global Initiative, and led Script Health to win the 2019 Award for the Top Project in MIT’s LinQ IDEA2 Global International Mentorship Program. He completed the Leadership Fellowship in Public Health and Public Policy with the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship and the Discovery Institute’s Chapman Fellowship. 

James is a doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and received his Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, here in Chicago. He received his certificate of Innovation from MIT and Health Health Care Administration policy from the University of Chicago. 

source

Revolutionizing Pharmacy with James Lott, Founder and CEO of Script Health: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Revolutionizing Pharmacy with James Lott, Founder and CEO of Script Health: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Saul Marquez:
Hey everybody! Saul Marquez here with the 0utcomes Rocket, and I thank you so much for tuning back in to the podcast. Today, I have the privilege of hosting the amazing James Lott. He is the founder and CEO of Script Health. James has over a decade of experience in the pharmacy setting, including serving as the former Pharmacy Manager and Adjunct Instructor teaching pharmacy law. He was recognized in Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40, is the recipient of the Commitment to Action Award by the Clinton Global Initiative, and led Script Health to win the 2019 Award for the Top Project in MIT’s LinQ IDEA2 Global International Mentorship Program. James completed Leadership Fellowship in Public Health and Public Policy with the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship and the Discovery Institute’s Chapman Fellowship. James is a doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and received his Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, here in Chicago. He received his certificate of Innovation from MIT and Health Health Care Administration policy from the University of Chicago. I’m excited to have a chat with him today to touch on a very, very important topic around naloxone and the opioid epidemic. We’ve been consumed by the COVID epidemic, but that opioid epidemic has not gone away. I’m glad to be with you here today, James. Thanks for joining us.

James Lott:
Thanks so much for having me., Saul. I appreciate it.

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely. So, you know, before we dive into Script Health and the work that you and your team are up to there, James, talk to us a little bit about what inspires your work in health and health care.

James Lott:
Yeah. So I would say what kind of drove the passion because I don’t think you just wake up one day and want to be an entrepreneur, especially in the health care system, what kind of drove the passion was were my experiences as a pharmacist. I very intentionally worked in communities that were more diverse, tended to be around the medium to low income echelon of the, you know, in neighborhoods and just places where I felt like I could provide more impact. And from my experiences, I just saw so many amazing opportunities for myself as a pharmacist to intervene to kind of help patients out better improve their health, provide better access to care and provide just more convenient options. And it just kind of really just touched me, and I wanted to kind of have this mission where pharmacists were just doing more for the communities that they serve.

Saul Marquez:
Totally. And there’s huge gaps right now, as you well know James, and so help us understand Scripted and also really the mission around Script Health.

James Lott:
Absolutely. So, yeah, just one thing I’ll note is so our company, we started off essentially in 2019. We launched our first service, naloxone exchange, and it was in direct relation to the opioid crisis. We were, you know, the thing that makes kind of health care very difficult, especially from the pharmacy realm, does the regulations. But we did see an opportunity. We noticed that regulations were changing and states turned directly to pharmacists. The medication Naloxone, or Narcan for opioid overdose, was given a standing order or collaborative practice agreement in almost every state. And what we knew was we knew that patients still had an issue of stigma to go to their local pharmacy, even though they allowed pharmacists to prescribe Naloxone, which was really great. That was really great public policy. We wanted to provide another layer. So we launched NaloxoneExchange.com, the nation’s first secure online platform that allowed anyone to purchase naloxone online without a prescription, receive effective training, and we shipped it straight to their door. And so to date, we’ve sent thousands of doses of naloxone across over 40 states, and we’re really fortunate for that. But we don’t. Yeah, we definitely had greater ambitions and kind of Script Health, our mission now is to enable pharmacists to provide access to care for common conditions. So we did a pretty significant pivot, but that’s with a lot of things that we learned from our launch of Naloxone exchange.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, yeah, you know, so I’ll just pause there for for a bit James and dig into this Naloxone exchange. So really over 40 states, you guys have been able to deliver direct to the home this lifesaving reversal drug. And so is it folks that are using opioids prescription wise? There’s also, you know, heroin use. So does that cover those folks as well? Like, talk to us about what the typical profile is and who this program ended up serving?

James Lott:
Yeah. So the intention was just to make access to Naloxone a lot easier for anyone who wanted it. We assume that the majority of the usage would be from, you know, loved ones of people who used illicit opioids, so like these are more street drugs or but it could also be substance use disorder. And then we get a few people who literally just want it for the home just in case. No particular reason, but our actually our biggest customers are typically organizations. They’ll come in and purchase 50 doses, one hundred doses for police departments, warehouses, manufacturing warehouses, substance use, nonprofit groups, supports, all types of things, but we’ve definitely had a pretty diverse portfolio of consumers on the platform.

Saul Marquez:
Awesome. Thanks for helping me understand there, and we’re all of these on the road map when you put it together or did they just start showing up unexpectedly, some of them?

James Lott:
I mean, I guess to be, if I’m going to be honest here, I was pretty wet behind the ears of entrepreneur. When I started, I had no idea what I was doing. So the customer discovery process, it wasn’t as efficient as it could have been, but once we started noticing the trends we started trying to develop, you know, the platform to be friendly to those individuals. And we collected a lot of data and some really interesting people reached out. We had everybody from Purdue Pharma reaching out. We had some research groups reaching out and everybody in between because they just kind of wanted to learn more about Naloxone access online. They thought it was pretty interesting. So yeah, it’s just been an interesting journey and we learned a ton from it.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. So is that still going on? Or you no longer do the Naloxone exchange program?

James Lott:
Yeah, it’s definitely still going on. I can’t see us. We can’t stop doing it, although our business has completely shifted from what we’ve learned in the marketplace. If you’re familiar, Saul, we are. We most recently were in the Techstars Chicago cohort. Techstars is an accelerator program for I guess they describe it as like promising startups, and it’s because of our business model that has changed. What we were able to do with Naloxone, we think that there’s a big opportunity for pharmacists to just kind of step in and provide care for a lot of other things, but for common conditions providing better access. And I think, you know, I think it’s fair to say now I used to have to kind of convince people with this, but I think it’s fair to say now with pharmacists being a ninety three percent of communities around the country, they provide a great access point for basic care, everything from vaccines to Naloxone. And I will point out that in our last two health care crises being the opioid crisis and COVID 19, pharmacists have stepped up in a very significant way.

Saul Marquez:
I totally agree. So then is the bigger picture James to go beyond Naloxone and offer other routine therapies that may be needed?

James Lott:
Absolutely. Absolutely. So. So I think that the better way I would kind of frame it is that we’re allowing consumers to have a online to offline experience in getting getting care for common conditions, and they can also do this in store. So we’re very early stage in this process, but we believe we have validated a pretty good model that allows pharmacists to efficiently offer care for, like I said, those common conditions. With our service, they can book an appointment online in the near future and go straight to their pharmacy and get care. The pharmacist will already have that information and can assess them and see if they’re appropriate for care. And of course, if they’re not appropriate, the pharmacist can and will refer them to a physician within the community.

Saul Marquez:
Got it! Love it, man. Super cool. So what would you say is the core difference between what you guys are doing with the platform versus what’s available today?

James Lott:
Yeah. So OK, great question. You know, when I first started Naloxone exchange, the feedback we were getting from communities were OK. So policymakers have changed the policy and now people can go to their local community and get Naloxone. But the problem was when patients would go to their community and try to get Naloxone, the pharmacist wouldn’t know about the policy or they wouldn’t have Naloxone on hand. You know that whole process hadn’t really hadn’t been implemented as carefully as it could have. In fact, I got to go and present our Naloxone exchange efforts at the FDA, and I went to the pharmacy myself to get Naloxone, and the pharmacist wouldn’t sell it to me. So I had to go through this long story and tell them who I was and tell them why I was doing it and show them the policy. And then he eventually did it an hour and 20 minutes later. We understand that. I mean, it takes a lot of courage for substance user or a substance users loved one to go to the pharmacy and do that. We don’t want them having that kind of experience. So our platform Scripted enables pharmacists to provide easy access to treatments of common conditions. So with the platform, we have basically done a ton of market research and we have figured out what we believe pharmacies to be well equipped to offer their communities in terms of expanded care. These are things, everything from, you know, potentially offering birth control to a young woman, to urinary tract infections, ED for men and of course, life saving things like Naloxone and even emergency asthma inhalers.

Saul Marquez:
Fascinating. Yeah, this is great. And so walk us through the experience. You know you. You need something. You go to the portal, you get it like, can you walk us through so we understand?

James Lott:
Yeah. So we are still very early stage we have right now. If you if you could imagine, it’s a very interesting time for pharmacists. So they’re quite busy vaccinating probably one hundred or 200 million Americans right now. So yeah, it is busy times. We had the product ready to go right in towards the end of February. We had a couple of customers signed up, our pharmacy signed up and a lot of them had to bow out in the short term to to facilitate their pharmacies to optimize on COVID vaccines. But we do have one pharmacy that we’re working with and our go to market has changed a bit. We’ve been talking with national chains who are also very interested in what we’re up to. But the way it would work, essentially, though, Saul is you would be able to go to your local pharmacy, you’d be able to scan a QR code, select the service that you would want. Let’s say for what you believe you have the flu, you would scan the QR code. You would answer some questions regarding your flu. They would likely give you a test. You’d show positive negative. If you’re positive. The pharmacist can write you a prescription for the flu medication Tamiflu. If you’re negative, then based on your symptoms, they can either refer you out or give you some advice and document the entire experience very easily efficiently. And if you have a primary care physician, we can just go ahead and let your they can easily let your doctor know that they saw you and report the visit to your physician. So it’s pretty streamlined and efficient because we all know pharmacists are very busy, but they provide great access for like common conditions like this can save the health care system a ton of money.

Saul Marquez:
Totally, totally. Yeah. So so then they go on your website, they get what they need the QR code, then they go to their local pharmacist with that QR code and the process begins.

James Lott:
Yeah, actually, you can. So you can start the process on your phone at home and book an appointment and fill out the paperwork. Or you can go to your pharmacy and scan a QR code there. Typically, you have. Yep. Typically, we have some marketing material for the the patients to start care there as well.

Saul Marquez:
Got it. Got it. Very cool, very cool. So as you view kind of the solution that you guys offer, how would you say what you do improves outcomes or makes it better? I mean, I could take my guesses several, but I’d love to hear from you. Yeah.

James Lott:
In fact, I’ll give a story here, and this is really a big reason why I started Scripted, especially what we’re doing now. It’s like my dream. It’s my dream come true to to really help provide better access to care. But when I was a pharmacist, I worked at a large pharmacy chain and state laws allow pharmacists to do certain things, including prescribing for some of these common conditions. But the company hadn’t implemented it as a policy at that particular store. It was very diverse. We actually sold more medications over the counter than we did in prescriptions in terms of dollars. We have more sales over the counter because this particular population, they just did health care differently. They did it on their terms. They didn’t always have time to go to a doctor. They weren’t always insured. Lots of them were immigrants. I’m not sure if they didn’t trust the health care system or whatever, but they made health care work for them. And so this that was common for me. I’d do 30 to 50 consults every day for people who just want some over-the-counter options to self treat. But there was a particular gentleman who came into the pharmacy and he mentioned he had asthma and he didn’t have a prescription for an inhaler. He was trying to get it over the counter option, which isn’t the best outcome. I definitely recommended that he go to the E.R., but he just said he couldn’t afford it. So I told him, you know, hey, go and try this one thing on his way there, he collapsed. And so I had to break policy and grab a emergency inhaler for this gentleman and administer to him. And luckily, it saved his life. But I think that that is unfortunate, you know. Yes, we want to get this man into care for sure. But there are so many millions of Americans who pick the option that he did to self treat just because of how the health care system is set up. And if pharmacists can be an access point to prevent some of these poor outcomes, I think that’s great, and I think that a platform like Scripted can get better and better over time of providing care, basic care to people and getting them back into the care system in a way that works for them.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, super great. And I appreciate you sharing that story. It’s an unfortunate truth that, you know, many in this country need to and are afraid to access care in traditional ways because of the cost, because of, you know, they would feel judged and it would be great to have a local pharmacy trust point where you could access some of the routine condition, things that come up. And so as you think about the things that you’ve run into James, what’s a big one of the biggest setbacks you’ve experienced and a key learning that came out of it as you’ve developed Script Health?

James Lott:
Oh man, it’s been a journey. I’ll tell you that, Saul. Being an entrepreneur is extremely, you know, it’s challenging and especially in the health care space. You know, I would say that we’ve always been able to make it, but we’ve been able to develop this product on a shoestring budget. Luckily, we’ve been scrappy. We’ve really been fortunate to find some people who are mission oriented to build this, but we have not had the most available access to capital. And you know, it’s unfortunate, but as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to make it work and we figured out ways. And I think that we’ve done a great job really being obsessive about this problem and validating that we have the right problem, right solution. We started talking to customers. We kept hearing them all say the exact same things, which is, you know, that’s an early indicator of potential product market fit. Now we just got to double down on verifying with the customers and kind of getting that that traction that you need that would instill investor confidence so we can scale this thing up quickly.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, it’s a challenge that every entrepreneur faces. You know, getting capital for the business is certainly a challenge, but once overcome, you definitely make a big impact. And so coming from a public health standpoint, there’s an opportunity here, maybe even some dollars from, you know, government in some way. You know, there’s like a research dollars. What’s that process called?

James Lott:
SPIR

Saul Marquez:
That’s right. That’s right. SPIR.

James Lott:
Yeah, we are. Yep, we sure have. We actually participated in a competition by the National Institute of Drug Abuse using scripted to potentially provide access to buprenorphine, the substance use for disorder medication. We were one of 10 winners, and I think they had over seven or eight hundred applications and we were one of the 10 to get funding and we worked with them to to get more grant support. So yeah, definitely, definitely an avenue. But the funding, you know, it just it’s a longer process, but we like our odds. Some of our recent traction has been really promising and I think that it’ll instill some investor confidence. I think that, you know, when we get on the radar, some of these national chains which like we had recently and they’re telling us that they have the same pain points and they want to scale and they want to do these kinds of things. You know, I think again, that’s promising and and they know it’s they know it’s very difficult otherwise they do it themselves. So we we like our approach to the problem.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, totally. And you know, through COVID and everything that has happened, the front door to health care is evolving. You know, the hospital and the clinic aren’t any longer that focus area, right? We got care in the home we’ve got now with, you know, the efforts that you’re doing and others, the pharmacy. So there’s opportunity. And so with that, what would you say is is the thing that that excites you most today?

James Lott:
I think, yeah, no, kind of exactly what you were just saying. It’s I personally feel like it’s 1995 for health care. Finally, we’re serious about innovation, and you can see you can tell from number one, how innovative the health care system and the nation has had to be during COVID. And then number two, the amount of funding that’s going into new health care innovation. Number three, just how you see consumers habits changing. And some companies are they’re definitely getting lots of profits off of providing actual solutions for what consumers need. But it’s a great time to be in health care. I think actually, if we try to launch Scripted five years before now, it wouldn’t work. But we think that now we’re encouraged by policy changes that are now allowing pharmacists to do a little bit more. And we think that with our efforts, we can even push those policy changes further when we show folks the great work that pharmacists are able to do in terms of providing access to care.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, the time is right, and I’m certainly excited about it, too, James and so I’m rooting for you and the outcomes rocket listener base is rooting for you too. Why don’t you leave us with the closing thought and best place that anybody listening to this that your message struck a chord with can reach out to you?

James Lott:
Yeah, well, number one, I appreciate the opportunity to share our story. We are a mission driven team. We really are serious about closing gaps in care and we think that pharmacists who are in ninety three percent of communities living within five miles of a pharmacy, you think that they’re a great opportunity to kind of help with public health and access and reducing costs to care. They’ve been there the whole time. They’ve shown what they can do in the opioid crisis and now COVID-19. But we need to push a little bit further so we can close some of these gaps and provide more equitable and accessible care. So but anybody who wants to find out more about us, they can check out ScriptHealth.Co. or Scripted.co. And we would love to work with payer groups who see pharmacies as an opportunity of better promoting access and lowering cost care. And also, of course, any executive teams or leaders that see this as a viable model. And of course, investors as well so.

Saul Marquez:
Outstanding. James, thanks for the invite. And folks, take James up on the opportunity to help evolve the way that people access care doesn’t always have to be through the doctor’s office, and we’re missing a lot of opportunities to really engage and provide health and health care to our communities in many instances. And so, you know, my call to action here is take James up on it. Script Health is offering a new way. So James, really appreciate you and and all the work you and your team are doing.

James Lott:
Thank you so much, Saul.

Sonix is the world’s most advanced automated transcription, translation, and subtitling platform. Fast, accurate, and affordable.

Automatically convert your mp3 files to text (txt file), Microsoft Word (docx file), and SubRip Subtitle (srt file) in minutes.

Sonix has many features that you’d love including advanced search, automated transcription, enterprise-grade admin tools, automated subtitles, and easily transcribe your Zoom meetings. Try Sonix for free today.


Things You’ll Learn

  • Healthcare is evolving.
  • Consumer habits are changing. 
  • Access to care does not always have to be through the doctor’s office. 

 

Resources

Websites: 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jameslottchicago