DrugStars – global patient movement with venture investment
Just imagine that by simply taking prescribed medication, you provide a donation to patient associations. This is the main concept that stands behind DrugStars, a Danish company founded by former professor of social pharmacy Claus Møldrup. To support the project, SEED Capital and former CFO of Pandora and business angel, Henrik Holmark invested millions in it.
DrugStars founder, Claus Møldrup, since childhood wanted to be a pharmacist and the youngest Danish professor ever. Well, that did not happen, as he became the second youngest professor. However, Claus Møldrup managed to succeed both as a professor of medicine at Copenhagen University and as a director of a US-based pharmaceutical company with 28,000 employees worldwide. In 2016, he decided that it was a right time to pursue his third career and he founded a patient movement DrugStars.
How does it work?
DrugStars is an app that rewards patients with ‘stars’ for taking their medication. Later users can exchange these stars for donations, sponsored by pharmaceutical companies to various patient organizations. However, pharmaceutical companies have no influence over who gets the donations – the system works independently.
“The idea is that DrugStars on the one hand will stimulate patients to take their prescribed medications, thus ensuring that the patients feel better because they do not skip the prescription. On the other hand, through stimulating patients to take medicine properly, the company will save the resources for charity. With 1 million users worldwide, DrugStars could generate 70 million kroner (9.5 million euro) to charity”, says Claus Møldrup.
The fact that patients do not take their medicine represents a major problem in the global health system. The problem is extremely serious as in 60% cases patients do not take prescribed medicine. Which, unfortunately leads to unwanted side effects, additional doctor and emergency room visits and hospitalizations. According to Pharmaceutical Association and PWC, these side effects cost around 1.5 billion kroner (200 million euro) to Danish health system annually. In this connection, DrugStar is a new tool that can help improve the situation.
“DrugStars is a unique project aimed to create value for patients, patient associations and business. Thus, it has all the chances to become a huge success.” says Anders Kjær, Investment Manager at SEED Capital.