Truepill builds COVID-19 virtual care platform with antiviral delivery and telehealth consults

A test tube with a blood sample
An FDA advisory committee narrowly voted to endorse Merck's antiviral molnupiravir for the treatment of COVID on Tuesday. (Getty Images/photoguns)

Truepill is launching an end-to-end virtual care platform for COVID-19, the digital health unicorn announced Wednesday.

The platform, set to roll out “in the coming weeks,” according to the company, offers on-demand telehealth consultations and next-day delivery of COVID-19 oral antivirals.

The company also plans to offer synchronous follow-up telehealth visits in early 2022 through its patient portal.

“The emergency use authorization of an oral antiviral to treat COVID-19 has the potential to significantly reduce the devastating impacts of the pandemic,” said Andy Rink, senior vice president of telehealth at Truepill, in a statement. “In order for this medication to reach its full potential and effectively minimize deaths and hospitalizations, there needs to be a system in place for rapid, mass distribution to impacted populations. Truepill’s COVID-19 virtual care platform tackles this challenge head-on by combining all necessary steps into a single, comprehensive platform: reporting symptoms, confirming a positive test result, obtaining a prescription and receiving medication, all within 24-48 hours. We’re amazed by the pace at which COVID-19 care advancements have been made, and are thrilled to launch this platform and help mitigate the toll of COVID-19.”

With Truepill’s online portal, patients can easily report symptoms of COVID, share test results, and seek care for a diagnosis, whether with a telehealth consult or medication delivery.

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Founded in 2016, the company was created to address the long lines and fulfillment delays common in pharmacies by using technology.

The digital health platform combines telehealth, a virtual pharmacy, and at-home testing services for consumers, with plans to expand its reach among health plans, providers, and employer groups.

The company landed $142 million in a series D funding round in October, catapulting it to unicorn status with a valuation at $1.6 billion.

RELATED: Truepill’s $142M series D boosts valuation to $1.6B as it expands reach to health plans, providers

Truepill’s plans to offer COVID antiviral delivery could run into challenges as regulators debate whether to authorize a new medicine.

On Tuesday, an FDA advisory committee narrowly voted to endorse an emergency use authorization for Merck’s antiviral molnupiravir, but noted numerous concerns about the medicine’s safety.

Committee members indicated they would support revoking their endorsement if another oral treatment was shown to be safer and more effective.

Previously, the FDA approved Gilead’s remdesivir for the treatment of COVID in hospitalized patients aged 12 and up.

Because antivirals work to stop the virus from replicating, they must be administered early in the course of the illness to be effective, before the virus has multiplied too many times to respond significantly to treatment.

As a result, doctors may recommend patients start treatment as soon as they start developing symptoms, ideally within three to five days of noticing signs of the virus.

Truepill’s next-day delivery of COVID antivirals, prescribed by the company’s network of providers, could address this intrinsic issue and make it easier for patients to receive the medicine as soon as they need it.

The San Mateo, California-based was among the winners of Fierce Healthcare’s Fierce 15 of 2021 awards.