Founded in 2019 by Akshat Nayyar and Dr Kunal Wani, healthtech startup Truemeds helps chronic patients cut medicine bills by offering alternative generic drugs that are priced much lower.Healthcare expenditures have risen dramatically in recent years as a result of India’s expanding population, aging elders, illness incidence, consumption of medical services, rising drug costs, and other reasons.
People around the country who must take medications on a regular basis spend a substantial portion of their money and wind up spending large sums over time.
Truemeds, a Mumbai-based healthtech firm, hopes to help change this by cutting prescription expenses by “as much as 47 percent” by supplying alternative drugs.
Akshat Nayyar and Dr Kunal Wani, who formerly worked for a pharmaceutical business, created the Mumbai-based online pharmacy in 2019. The idea of generic pharmaceuticals and how they may help consumers save money on medications piqued their interest.
Truemeds claims to reduce pharmacy expenses by 47%.
A generic medicine, according to the US Food and Drug Admiistration, is a pharmaceutical that is designed to be identical to an already marketed brand-name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, mode of administration, quality, performance characteristics, and intended purpose.
According to industry estimates, almost 95% of medications on the Indian market are off-patent Truemeds’ founders identified a potential in offering these lower-cost medications to chronic patients.
“We sought to overcome the problem of drug cost so that people may have them as a right rather than a privilege,” Akshat explains. After examining the sector for a while, the founders realized they might use technology to reduce ordinary medical expenses.
Truemeds requires patients to input their prescriptions. The online pharmacy also includes a panel of doctors to answer any questions users may have about obtaining generic pharmaceuticals that are not recommended by their doctor.
Akshat says, “Only then are drugs marketed and delivered. In general, people are uninformed of viable alternatives. We prescribe only quality drugs with equivalent efficacy levels.”
Truemeds began as a business providing alternative medications, but the team soon realized that customers required assistance throughout the whole process, including after delivery. According to Akshat, Truemeds may save clients 47 percent on average when they switch medicine brands. If they do not choose the generic drug, it offers drugs at a normal 20% discount.
The firm may offer discounts because of two factors: traded generic pharmaceuticals are cheaper, and the company absorbs the margin expenses of sales and marketing (so they are not passed on to the consumer).
The pharmaceutical sector is highly complicated, with a variety of interactions between producers, stockists or distributors, and physicians. Truemeds has over 150 wholesalers. Truemeds, which currently employs a workforce of 100 people, sources pharmaceuticals from pharmaceutical firms as well as wholesalers. Blue Dart, Delhivery, and Xpressbees are among the logistics companies with whom Truemeds has connections.
Goals and growth
Truemeds began operations in Mumbai and quickly expanded to serve the whole state of Maharashtra. It has since spread to additional cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, and Bengaluru, where fulfillment centers have been established. The startup intends to expand its reach.
“We’ve been growing 78X and providing medications all around the country since April 2020,” Akshat explains.
The company now serves 18,000 pin codes across the country.
Truemeds promises to deliver over one lakh orders per month and claims to be increasing at a rate of 20% month on month.
The target is to get five lakh orders by March 2023. To far, the firm has received around $27 million in investment from investors such as WestBridge Capital, InfoEdge Ventures, Indian Angel Network Fund, and others.
Market and Prospects
According to Akshat, the pharmaceutical sector in India is about $25 billion, and Truemeds has only touched the surface.
According to data, the percentage of prescription generics in the United States has increased from 40% in 2005 to 86 percent now. In India, the percentage is only 8%, but it is predicted to rise to 45 percent by 2025.
Akshat adds, “We want to be the leader in the domain of traded generics, with the fundamental focus being the patient’s welfare.”