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VWV Volumes #19: Our Investment in Medicircle
At Van Wickle Ventures, we recently invested in MediCircle, an oral chemotherapy redistribution startup aiming to reduce the cost of cancer treatment and also reduce the massive amounts of pharmaceutical waste in the United States. The venture, co-founded by Jack Schaeffer (Brown ‘22) and Eliza Sternlicht (Brown ‘22), aims to democratize access to healthcare and reduce the high cost of pharmaceuticals in the US for low-income families. We are incredibly proud to join their Angel round and support a Brown student startup!
MediCircle’s Value Proposition:
MediCircle’s service is quite simple and leverages inefficiencies in cancer care and hospital logistics to reduce waste and drug prices at the same time. Through the course of cancer treatment, a physician or care provider may switch the medication that a particular patient is on based on efficacy, side effects, and other factors in order to ensure the best course of treatment for their patients. The effect of this is multiple patients having an excess of unused drugs every time they switch medication due to the fact that pharmaceutical companies often package large prescription sizes for each of their medications. Hospitals, therefore, are tasked with organizing the logistics for and spending money on disposing of these medications in the appropriate way. The overall result is almost $3 billion worth of unused drugs going to waste every year in the United States.
MediCircle steps in to curb this waste and recertify these unused medications to be sold back to patients at a much lower cost. MediCircle is able to collect these unused medications, certify their quality, and sell them to patients on financial assistance programs for as little as $15 out of pocket compared to the thousands of dollars they would have to pay for new medications. At the same time, MediCircle is able to offload the logistics and cost of medication disposal from hospitals which overall lowers costs for hospitals as well.
The medical redistribution space is relatively new as the regulatory and legal structure for corporations to operate in this space has only recently been established allowing ventures like MediCircle to operate. Due to the novel nature of this space, MediCircle has the benefit of being one of the first movers which will likely allow them to gain market share quickly. At the same time, the pharmaceutical industry and market are vast with hundreds of different types of drugs combining to billions of dollars worth of wasted drugs to recertify and reuse which gives us confidence that the space that MediCircle is operating in is only going to grow faster and faster. The long-term vision of the founders is to create a service and platform that makes the healthcare process in the United States more efficient and more circular which in turn benefits both the environment and patients. We have full confidence that Jack, Eliza, and the MediCircle team will execute on that vision and develop a path towards a more sustainable approach to medicine.
We are excited to join MediCircle on their journey and look forward to seeing their impact on the pharmaceutical ecosystem as a whole!