Startup Spotlight: Scripted

James Lott, founder and CEO of Scripted, discusses his startup’s unexpected beginnings and hard-won triumphs.

The Startup
Scripted empowers local pharmacists to prescribe and treat common conditions, offering a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional doctor visits.

The Challenge
According to a 2021 report by the Association of Academic Colleges, the United States could face a shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034. James Lott, founder and CEO of Scripted and a pharmacist himself, understands that the over 300,000 pharmacists in the United States can help address this gap by providing acute, low-risk services directly to patients, similar to those offered at urgent care centers. While this idea is promising, it presents significant challenges for pharmacy administrators who are already overwhelmed. That’s where Scripted comes in.

The Story
Lott began his career working directly in pharmacies, where he dispensed prescriptions and administered vital shots to patients. During his time as a pharmacy manager in underserved communities, Lott realized that many patients relied on pharmacies as their first line of healthcare before seeking medical assistance. This realization hit home when Lott intervened to rescue a pharmacy customer experiencing an asthma attack by providing an inhaler, albeit in violation of legal protocols.

This pivotal moment inspired Lott to pursue systemic change. He enrolled at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, determined to make a difference. He then joined the prestigious Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s New Venture Challenge, where his vision crystallized: To empower pharmacists to take a more proactive role by prescribing medications at the grassroots level.

The Solution
Here’s the Scripted process: Imagine someone has a urinary tract infection (UTI) and urgently needs an antibiotic. They can visit, enter their zip code using Scripted’s pharmacy locator tool and schedule a consultation at an affiliated pharmacy after completing a comprehensive questionnaire. Once the questionnaire is submitted, the pharmacist receives an instant notification through their dedicated portal and can review the individual’s responses seamlessly. Understanding the demanding nature of a pharmacist’s work, Scripted has even integrated clinical decision-making support into their product to streamline this process.

If the individual is deemed suitable for antibiotic therapy, the pharmacist can quickly generate a prescription within the platform. This prescription is then automatically faxed to the patient’s primary care physician to ensure seamless coordination and continuity of care.

The Impact
This is Scripted’s vision for the future of healthcare: Shifting the delivery of acute, non-urgent care for common ailments from costly emergency room visits to the more accessible and affordable pharmacy setting. Scripted makes it easy for pharmacies to offer dozens of services, from COVID-19 and influenza testing and treatment to managing UTIs and chronic diseases. Patients can get a new prescription and their medication in just one visit to the pharmacy for much less than they would pay at urgent care.

The Future
In a recent success, Scripted partnered with CPESN to bring Scripted to thousands of pharmacies. In May 2024, Scripted launched the #PharmacyPaybackTime campaign, an ongoing initiative established to address a core issue facing pharmacists today: Exceedingly low reimbursement rates compared to their physician counterparts. According to Lott, extremely low reimbursement rates set by Pharmacy Benefit Managers have been devastating pharmacy businesses and the patients who rely on them. Many small and independent pharmacies are being forced to close due to these unfair reimbursements. Fine-print details about how and where pharmacists perform services can change reimbursement rates by hundreds or thousands of dollars.

“We started #PharmacyPaybackTime to put the power back in pharmacists’ hands,” Lott says. “Our goal is for pharmacists to feel like they have a way to fight back against PBM greed and get the payback they deserve.”

About Scripted
Scripted is a platform that enables pharmacists to prescribe directly to patients for common conditions. Scripted’s digital marketplace connects patients in need of non-urgent care for common conditions with in-person pharmacy providers able to prescribe directly for as low as $19. Scripted is developed by Script Health, a health tech startup that aims to provide easy access to essential and life-saving treatments.

At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 1,000 current and alumni startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together we are accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit and follow @MATTERhealth.