Mira-Mini | RxLightning: Startup of the Year and Tech Product of the Year
Gerry Dick: Well, the startup of the year and the tech product of this year belonged to the same company, and I'm pleased to be joined by Julia Reagan, the CEO and co- founder of RxLightning, a New Albany based company that is experiencing phenomenal growth and getting a lot of recognition, certainly well deserved at the Mira Awards. Julia, congratulations.
Julia Regan: Thank you. It's an honor to be here.
Gerry Dick: Yeah. Okay. RxLightning. Give us kind of the thumbnail description of the company that's just a little more than two years old.
Julia Regan: Yeah. We incorporated in January 2020 right before the pandemic hit the world, and we've grown really quickly. So today, when patients are prescribed specialty medications, these are high cost meds that patients can't get at the local pharmacies down the street, and they treat diseases like oncology rare diseases, dermatology issues. Today, when providers prescribe those medications, there's a lot of paperwork, phone calls and faxes that occur, and as a result, it sometimes takes weeks or months for patients to get through the approval processes and get to start the meds. So we've automated all the paper processes and now patients are getting them the medications and days instead of weeks.
Gerry Dick: I just noticed you're lightning earrings. Very well done on those. That's good. We'll talk about it because the tech product of the year is this specialty enrollment platform. Talk about how difficult it can be and that the time it takes for patients to get some of these specialty medications.
Julia Regan: Yeah, so there's so many different layers of processes that happen with these medications. First of all, sometimes they can't be dispensed at multiple pharmacies. Sometimes they could only be dispensed at one or two, and then you've got a layer of complication with the insurances and the insurance, depending on who your insurance is, you might not be able to go to all of the pharmacies that could dispense it. And then on top of it, because they're so high cost, we're not talking about a couple of hundred dollars, we're talking about thousands to tens of thousands, to hundreds of thousands of dollars, patients because of that, the insurance companies and the manufacturers want data and information around why they need to be on the medications. And then even further than that with the cost, affordability becomes an issue. So can somebody afford these meds? So even once you get through the approval processes and everything's at a clean script where they could dispense it, can the patient afford it? And then there's foundations that exist or manufacturers have patient assistance programs and those are all paper- based. So what we've done is we've looked at each discreet paper- based process and we've automated it and our technology's completely proprietary. A lot of people automate paper with writeable PDFs. That's not our technology. We have some AI and machine learning within it, and we have a very intelligent platform for about 1200 medications. And because of it, we create a unique experience for providers where they could complete all these different paper processes in a single experience that's the same regardless of drug, pharmacy, program, insurance, et cetera. And it becomes very user- friendly to the offices and very quick and easy.
Gerry Dick: How dramatically do you shrink the time it takes for patients to get these medications?
Julia Regan: So what we're hearing on average, so URAC is the organization that accredits specialty pharmacies. And when you look at their data, the average data dispense is usually about six and a half days. In our system, we're seeing our average data dispense between one and two days, and the fastest we've been able to see is about three and a half hours, which is really just unheard of.
Gerry Dick: Yeah. How about opportunities for growth? As you look going forward, what do you see out there?
Julia Regan: Yeah, I think there's a couple. I think the biggest thing for us in order to impact more patients, we need more providers using the platform. So providers could go to our website, it's rxlightning.com, and they could go through a registration and a verification process. Obviously, we want to make sure they're doctors and they're able to prescribe these meds and they could get started using the platform very quickly. And then, so there's provider growth and really to take the process further and be able to make all of the patient dispenses be hours instead of weeks, we really need to integrate with the specialty pharmacies and the drug manufacturers and the different programs that exist out there. So working with those organizations in order to connect our frontend platform into their services to remove double data entry and missing information and multiple different things is what we need to do. And the great thing is we're in the process of hiring. So as we shared, we are a young organization. We started in 2020. We ended the year with a couple employees at the end of 2020, and now we're up to 23, I think full- time. And we're looking to double by the end of the year. So we really need great people and talent that are associated with the mission about helping patients and that are ready to join a fast- growing organization.
Gerry Dick: Another great example of innovation in Indiana, the startup of the year, also the tech product of the year, RxLightning, New Albany based company. Julia Reagan, congratulations and good luck going forward.
Julia Regan: Thank you very much.
RxLightning for Startup of the Year: With RxLightning, healthcare providers can quickly and easily complete the enrollment process for every specialty drug in every therapeutic area, reducing paperwork, streamlining communication and accelerating speed to therapy for patients.
RxLightning Specialty Enrollment Platform for Tech Product of the Year: New Albany, Ind.-based startup company RxLightning is completely disrupting the fast-growing specialty medications market with its end-to-end platform that connects prescribers, specialty pharmacies, manufacturers, hubs, payers and foundations all in one place. The process, which was previously 100% paper-based, is now completely digital and far more efficient, cutting wait times from an average of two weeks or more to just two or three days. Also, by generating partnership and licensing revenue from pharma, pharmacies, payers and health tech players, the platform can be offered to physician practices at no cost. Those practices experience a significant cost savings with RxLightning, given the decrease in time required for each specialty enrollment. Since the product launched, retention among prescribers has been strong, a testament to the benefits realized by practices. Among those who RxLightning supports, the most important is patients – they get critical, life-altering therapies faster, with less emotional toll.