At the same time, Capsule is eschewing selling customers candy, soda, shampoo, greeting cards and other nonpharmaceutical items, unlike many of its 2,500 existing competitors in New York City.
Capsule aims to solve what its executives call the "existing pain points" of conventional, bricks-and-mortar pharmacies: long wait times to get prescriptions filled; having to return to the store because a drug is out of stock; uncertainty about how much a drug will cost a patient; and getting questions answered about drugs.
Instead of walking into a store, most of the start-up's customers will get their medications hand-delivered by couriers dispatched throughout the city — with the temporary exception of Staten Island — via bicycle, buses and subways, and by foot, after their doctors file the prescription electronically. Delivery is free.
To build its business, Capsule will rely on consumer and doctor awareness. Patients can request Capsule by name, or doctors can recommend it. Prescriptions are filed electronically by doctors and then are filled by the pharmacy.