PillPack: the Pharmacy of the Future

PillPack: the Pharmacy of the Future

Take all of the pills in your medicine cabinet and imagine that instead of them all coming in separate bottles, they were packaged together in a pre-assorted, chronological scrolling tape of medicine. You wouldn’t have to keep track of the medicines you need to take nor the respective time anymore but you could simply tear off a square packet from the roll and swallow all the pills inside.

This is the idea behind Pillpack, a new service from Somerville, Massachusetts, which has emerged to disrupt the traditional pharmaceutical industry. Putting design at the core of their business, PillPack sends you your medications like a regular pharmacy might, but the real differentiator is in the user experience.

With the medication dosage portioned into individual packs and in combination with smart and easily understood labeling, each pack includes the time and date you should consume your medicine and its contents.

You won’t have to worry about pillboxes, reminders, or refills anymore: PillPack will take care of all that for you.

PillPack’s CEO and co-founder T.J. Parker was inspired to start PillPack when his father, the owner of a pharmacy in New Hampshire, started receiving requests from his friends and neighbors. They had heard about the rolls of medication he was producing for local medical facilities and started asking him to put together pill packs for them as well.

What makes the PillPack system so ingenious is its ‘idiot-proof’ design. Once you have signed up, PillPack will assemble your medication, presorting the medicines chronologically into individually sealed packets. You will get new PillPacks every two weeks. Four weeks before your last scheduled refill of a prescription, PillPack’s pharmacists will follow up with your doctor for a renewal.

Parker says that it is important not to overload patients with extraneous information: the whole point of the system is that the only thing a patient should have to worry about when taking their meds is the date and time printed on each pack.


PillPack works with most major insurance plans, and costs $20 per month on top of existing co-pays. The service makes most sense for patients who take more than five pills a month, says Parker, but even if you just need help remembering the aspirin a day, PillPack can help you keep the doctor away.




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Written by

Alessandra Ruggeri