Just prior to the StartupRockon kickoff part at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte North Carolina we got to meet Amir Khoshnevis the Chief Strategist for Charlotte startup WeRx.org. They were one of the three finalists for the $5,000 StartupRockon grant contest. The winner was announced just before The Roots took the stage.
WeRx.org is an innovative crowdsourcing platform that would definitely be considered in the social entrepreneurship space. Khoshnevis and his co-founders discovered that people are paying way too much for their medication. Of course we’ve known this for years but what the WeRx team found was something that will blow most people’s minds away.
Take Lipitor for example. In it’s generic form the WeRX team found some pharmacies sold the drug for $11 and on the high end, $180 and that’s right in the Charlotte metro area. The unfortunate reality is that most people who require medication may do a limited cost comparison, and if they do they check the few pharmacies close by. If they can’t afford the cost of the medication close by they often decide to not take it. This can ultimately lead to death.
As another example Khoshnevis and the WeRx team found that in West Charlotte diabetes medications cost two to three times as much as they do in the Ballentine suburb of Charlotte. Why? Because the demographics skew more diabetic in West Charlotte.
So what did they do about this problem? They created WeRx which is a platform that allows people to crowdsource prescription prices. WeRx encourages those taking medications to input what they paid for it. Then then end users can geo-discover the best prescription prices and make the trip to another pharmacy to get the best price.
Ultimately the idea is to build such a large platform that big pharmacy companies bring their pricing system back inline with each other.
WeRx gives those that report prices a feel good “pill heart” so they know they’ve done their part to help people find the medications they need and hopefully drive the cost of prescriptions down.
This idea was so good that the startup that launched just last week, won the $5,000 StartupRockon grant contest. There win was announced Monday evening at the StartupRockon party featuring The Roots.
An ecstatic Khoshnevis tracked me down by the bar so proud that such a socially important startup won the contest. They plan on putting the $5,000 right back into the company that they’ve been bootstrapping since inception. Check out a video interview below with Khoshnevis just prior to the start of the party:
Check out WeRx here at werx.org
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