What if a pharmacy could end healthcare inefficiencies, close the access gap for the poor and underserved and keep people consistent with their medications, all while turning a healthy profit?
Would you want to invest in that model?
Because, suddenly, you can.
Our Founder, Wenbo Liu worked his way up to Pharmacy Manager not long after graduating Pharmacy School in 2013, and he couldn’t ignore the lack of efficiency in providing medicine and even overall care in the healthcare industry.
“People call their doctors, make an appointment, drive there, then go to the labs, and then go to the pharmacy, wait in line to see if their prescription is available. If they need a refill, they go to the pharmacy. If there's no refill, the pharmacy sends a message to the doctor,” Wenbo exclaims. “And then everyone goes back and forth, back and forth; there are huge inefficiencies. And these are sick people.”
Wenbo began to address the lags in communication with evolving technologies when he launched his own pharmacy, Cherry Street with technologies the behemoth healthcare system wouldn’t embrace as quickly, if at all. Next, he took a swing at the financial disconnect affecting many of his patients.
“I saw daily that people were choosing between either food, electricity, clothes, rent, or medications. I think life is hard enough as is and when people have to choose between life and death, versus paying their rent or buying food, to me personally, I don't think that's the right thing to do, especially in the wealthiest country in the world.”
Step one, he made delivery free. Keeping people current with their treatments without having to schedule transportation has reduced the impact on his patient’s tremendously.
Not only is Cherry Street supporting those in desperate need, it also saves Cherry Street on huge marketing costs. Large chains offer one-time rewards and spend gobs on marketing programs to acquire customers. “What happens if a customer’s copay is $200 and you give them a one-time coupon for $100 off for being a new customer. You give them 50% off for the first month, but what about next month? The customer is likely to leave to look for the next best discount,” Wenbo poses.
He finishes, “Cherry Street’s copay assistant program costs less than marketing and gives patients the service they cannot get anywhere else, which ensures their ongoing loyalty.”
One customer shared, “I appreciate the free deliveries, but the copay assistance part has really ‘spoiled’ my parents because now they don't have to choose between going with an inferior treatment option. Now they're able to access a whole world of treatment that they can suddenly afford.
With such a groundbreaking model, why isolate it in Tulare, California, a population hovering under 60,000? Wenbo thought this through as well!
“Most startups choose big cities, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, to be in these financial mega-hubs. But, I think you have to go where the business is; where the supply and demand offers you the best rate of return for your investment. Here in the Central Valley there's such a high demand for healthcare. And there's such a low supply that when you go in and you start innovating, then you are really able to not only change the landscape of healthcare, but you're also able to make a very big, meaningful impact on your community as well.”
Over 100,000 free deliveries have been made since the program launched and over $75,000 of prescriptions have been filled using Cherry Care which is approximately $1.25 per capita in the entire city to keep a community healthy and a profitable enterprise going.
Recently, Cherry Street was able to assist a resident at a nursing home adjacent to one heavily impacted by COVID-19. No one in the home could get out to access patient medications. Cherry Street’s doctor was able to visit at no cost and get her the diabetic-insulin treatment she needed while covering the $500 copay.
On all levels, personal and community, the Cherry Street model is providing positive benefits. And Wenbo doesn’t see the advancement of health services stopping any time soon.
“Not long from now, our health monitoring apps will be connected to our healthcare providers,” says Wenbo. “So, if your kidneys are starting to fail, or you’re getting a build-up of cholesterol, the network can notify us and you'll get a call from our providers. They'll say, ‘Hey, what's going on? Is it not working for you?’ And they can make adjustments before there are problems.”
“I know this sounds like something from the future, but it’s all possible right now, today, and with enough attention, it can be available globally,” states Wenbo. “That’s why I’m marketing a raise on MicroVentures; I want the world to know these innovations are coming and cannot be stopped. I want partners, I want people who believe like I do, that we don’t have to wait for politicians, or enormous medical institutions, or the entire healthcare industrial complex to start doing the right thing. It’s up to us and now is the time.”
Invest in Cherry Street to Make Healthcare More Accessible and Affordable
Our MicroVentures campaign just launched and is available to review!
Important to note are all the nuanced adjustments to the care delivery model and our profound impact on profitability. Further expansion plans for our pharmacy model include adding licensed physicians to our network and providing care while expanding our locations into communities that share the economic need for services.
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If you choose to invest, Wenbo would like to thank you personally, so be sure to include why you invested and he’ll reach out to thank you.
If you have any questions, reach out to us!