10 Entrepreneurs Who are Taking on Medication Management Challenge for the Aging Population

By Stephanie Baum |  May 3, 2017  |  This article originally appeared in MedCity News

Medication adherence is a healthcare conundrum that costs hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Although it affects most patient populations, the aging population is more susceptible because they may be taking more medications, have memory issues, budget concerns, and mobility issues, all of which can factor into adherence. In addition to adherence, entrepreneurs have also taken aim at the opioid crisis and medication delivery.

Readers selected 10 medication management companies for the eBook 50+ Innovation Leaders, presented by AARP. We’ve highlighted a few of them below but to find the rest, you can download the eBook here. It’s an initiative that calls attention to the ways in which entrepreneurs are addressing the needs of the aging population. Healthcare delivery, wearables, and behavioral health are some of the other healthcare segments represented.

Bob Goodman is the cofounder and CEO of RxAssurance, a health IT startup that developed a clinical decision support tool for prescribers to do risk stratification for each patient based on factors such as morphine equivalent dosing ranges, pain and function scores, and opioid misuse risk scores. It also has a tool to give providers a window on patients’ to satisfaction, side effects and adherence to their medication.

Asked who is healthcare hero is, Goodman named Dr. Toby Cosgrove, the Cleveland Clinic CEO who announced he would step down this year. He also explained why he was motivated to work with the aging population.

The risks associated with taking opioids in the aging population are enormous. Opioids alone account for 259 million prescriptions filled each year, enough for every adult in America to have a full month supply of these potent medications. With more than 91 deaths every day (CDC data) as the result of opioid misuse and a baby being born every 25 minutes suffering from opioid withdrawal (NIH), the United States is facing a problem of epidemic proportions. Care providers are asked to follow guidelines for prescribing opioids that add hours of additional work and related costs to their already packed schedules. RxAssurance provides time and cost-saving tools for prescribers and patients to help address these problems more effectively and ultimately optimize care and potentially save lives.

Tom Kottler is the CEO of HealthPrize Technologies, which takes an interactive educational and incentives-based approach to medication adherence to engage and motivate patients to take their prescription drugs.He said his mother inspired him to work with the aging population.

She died 10 years ago after a Herculean struggle with multiple organ failure. Her grace, strength and wit under incredibly trying circumstances, usually while in incredible pain, remain a guiding light for me. The costs, both financial and emotional of her life extension, have motivated me to work on end-of-life issues, as well as being concerned for the quality of life of older Americans.

ZipDrug is one of a handful of healthcare companies trying to improve patients’ access to their prescription medications. CEO and Co-Founder Stu Libby, when asked what motivated him to start his business, said caring for his father after he suffered a massive heart attack.

While supporting him through his recovery, it became clear that the existing patient-pharmacy dynamic was broken, negatively impacting health outcomes. Drug costs and access have been identified as key drivers of non-adherence. Zipdrug eliminates these barriers, enabling the aging population to obtain home delivery of prescriptions at the lowest cost, from high-quality pharmacies, and with a superior customer experience.

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