Dispensed: The inside story of the Twitter outrage against CVS, a new marijuana breathalyzer, and a buzzy pharmacy startup

Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

Hello,

Healthcare reporter Clarrie Feinstein here, writing the weekly newsletter while Lydia Ramsey continues her wonderful travels for her honeymoon! We’re definitely starting to miss her in the office.

Even though the holiday weekend is just around the corner, and New York City is feeling a little more quiet than usual (hard to believe, but it’s true!) we still have lots of important healthcare stories from the last week to share with you all.

The top story I want to highlight came from Lydia and Emma Court, who gave us the inside scoop on how a birth-control-pill delivery startup sparked a feud with CVS on Twitter.


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The inside story of how a tiny startup and a controversial Twitter doctor sparked viral internet outrage against CVS

The Pill Club image 1Courtesy The Pill ClubOne of The Pill Club’s ‘care packages.’

They found a trending story on Twitter when viral backlash erupted against CVS. The social media conversation framed CVS as a massive corporation bent on obstructing women’s access to contraception. But after some digging, Emma and Lydia found that the startup, Pill Club, engineered the campaign with the help of a marketing firm and a controversial physician. Read the full story here.

Emma also interviewed Halle Tecco, the cofounder of the venture capital firm Rock Health. They discussed her personal reason for starting a women’s-health-focused startup. The startup, Natalist, is first offering a subscription bundle for women who are seeking to get pregnant. The idea came out of Tecco’s experiences trying to get pregnant. The story is poignant and well worth a read. Check it out:

The woman who founded top health-tech VC Rock Health is now launching her first startup, and it shows that a long-neglected market is heating up

Hound labs marijuana breathalyzerHound LabsThe marijuana breathalyzer.

Our stellar west coast reporter, Erin Brodwin, gave us an inside look at a new marijuana breathalyzer (this is not a drill). The device is still in early stages of development, but the goal is to be able tell to tell if people are too high to drive or work.

The startup behind the world’s first marijuana breathalyzer just raised a fresh $US30 million and offered a glimpse at how the device works

And this week, I spoke with the CEO of the new pharmacy startup Zipdrug, which is creating its own network of pharmacies to deliver prescription drugs to seniors in the US. We walk you through how the new startup operates and discuss how the startup will break into a competitive market, with big players like CVS Health already offering similar services.

A startup working with 200 pharmacies is trying to break into the hypercompetitive drug-delivery business and give elderly Americans cheaper medications

But the team didn’t stop there!


As you can see the healthcare team has been busy as ever. And we’re not going to lie, we’re excited for a little break with the upcoming holiday weekend. I’ll be heading back home to Canada, seeing some friends in Montreal!

From the healthcare team, we hope everyone has a relaxing Labour Day weekend. We’ll be back reporting bright and early on Tuesday…not wearing white, we promise.

As always, you can reach us with tips at healt[email protected]

Thanks for reading.

-Clarrie

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