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What began as a quest to save my family’s rural pharmacy business rapidly evolved into a new business venture that I never anticipated.

March 3, 2014

In recent years, almost 1,000 rural pharmacies nationwide have had to close their doors due to economic challenges, leaving many small communities without the means necessary to get the medication they need.

Upon recognizing the astonishing rate at which pharmacies in these communities were closing, I was spurred to begin exploring telepharmacy as a way to save not only my family’s business, but also rural pharmacies across the nation.

Without initial intent to build a business, I began forming the foundation to what would ultimately become TelePharm. Shortly after my graduation from the University of Iowa in 2009, I received a waiver from the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, which granted me the legal authorization to open a telepharmacy. Soon thereafter, I found myself alongside Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, at the grand opening of my – and the state of Iowa’s – first telepharmacy in Victor, Iowa.

My company provides the software necessary to enable remote pharmacy services which allows the business to operate without having a pharmacist on site. This platform virtually connects patients with their pharmacists and allows one pharmacist to service and operate multiple telepharmacy locations. Our software decreases the operating expenses of rural pharmacies and revitalizes them by increasing profit.

Throughout the years, we have been fortunate to receive assistance and support from local initiatives including “Built By Iowa,” an early to mid-stage business incubator. We have also received financial assistance from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).

The Authority awarded us $75,000 from its Demonstration Fund in 2012 to beta test our software in a multi-location pharmacy installation. The following year, we were awarded a royalty agreement of $25,000 from IEDA’s Demonstration Fund in order to hire employees and launch at a national level.

Today, we show no signs of slowing down; we are continuously expanding and now have six full-time employees with operations in Iowa, Illinois and Texas. This is only the beginning for TelePharm, however.

We will undoubtedly continue to move the health industry forward as we are committed to advancing and expanding telemedicine and health services to rural locations across the nation. -Roby Miller, TelePharm



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