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If it’s developed like a drug, has endpoints like a drug’s, and is prescribed like a drug, it might be a drug. Or, lately, it might also be a smartphone application. The first prescription apps are about to arrive on the market, and major pharmaceutical companies are buying in.

Click Therapeutics, based in New York, announced Monday that Sanofi (SNY) Ventures would be providing $17 million in funding, in exchange for equity in the company and a seat on its board. In April, Pear Therapeutics and Sandoz, a division of Novartis (NVS), established a partnership to commercialize their prescription app for substance abuse, which received FDA clearance in September after going through the agency’s digital health pre-certification program. And Akili Interactive closed a $55 million Series C funding round that included Merck’s (MRK) corporate venture capital fund in May.


“I think that the deal is symbolic. Digital therapies will really enter into mainstream medicine,” said David Klein, Click’s co-founder and CEO. “I think we’re seeing an entirely new industry arrive.”

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  • To date I have never allowed anything that is about my personal health care, to be online for anyone or anything. My former physician has a specialized device that he uses for his patient notes, hospital discharges; and when ordering prescriptions for his patients. I wish all the physicians were required to use such a device. My pharmacy is never allowed to have my prescriptions online either.

    The activist who is part of myself is prepared to try everything imaginable, to insure that my private health remains just that – private!

    This app hopefully will never be used for anything by anyone.

  • What happens to those seniors who do not have electronic capability? Will they end up in the dark with no medication, or will they be able to continue with the traditional methods of medication access?

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