The aquamarine storefront is hard to miss. Next to the more subdued colors typically found Downtown, the facade of Medly Pharmacy cries out for attention. But that’s probably the point for the ambitious, five year-old startup with deep pockets and a plan to disrupt the $300 billion retail drugstore business.
Most of Medly’s business will be delivery. “We offer free, same-day delivery” explained Faheem Memon, Medly’s generał manager and Northeast vice president. Medly, he said, will deliver anywhere within a 50-mile radius of the store and do it the same day provided the order is received early enough.
Medly is located at 152 Newark Ave., the building formerly occupied by Downtown Hardware.
“We try to make things as seamless as possible for the patient. One example is that we have a zero click technology that is proprietary to our brand where we’ll get the prescription in, we’ll process the prescription, and the patient will get a text message with a link. They can click on that link and it’s going to give them instant access to schedule their delivery at their convenience.”
Maybe it isn’t quite “zero” clicks but it sounds easy enough.
According to Memon, Medly will carry all the drugs that one finds in the national chains. “What differentiates us is that we deal with a lot of specialty medications … the traditional CVSs and Walgreens don’t really handle these on a regular basis because there are stricter processes that need to be followed.”
Specialty medications are used to treat patients with complex or rare diseases. Such medications have special dosage, storage, handling, and administration requirements and require more patient care and monitoring services.
Memon said that Medly will be price competitive with other pharmacies but will go a step further to lessen co-pays. “One unique thing that we will do that other brands will not is that we will find every avenue to lessen that co-pay burden on the patient. Sometimes that will be a manufacturer’s coupon … sometimes that’s going to be a grant that we will help the patient get to support them through the medical needs they have.”
While Medly’s other locations are set up purely for delivery, the Jersey City location is the company’s first to allow customers to come in and purchase a selection of “curated” natural vitamins and supplements, sports nutrition products, healthful snacks and beverages as well as over-the-counter medications. A natural health practitioner to advise patients on “their holistic health and wellness needs” will also be available for consultations on premises.
Perhaps the best way to describe Medly is a cross between Doordash, Walgreens and your local trendy “apothecary” doling out homeopathic remedies.
With three pharmacies within a block of its new location and massive national chains to compete with, Medly will have its work cut out for it. But who knows? Flush with a $100 million war chest raised in 2020, the Brooklyn-based Medly may just have what it takes to succeed.