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July 9, 2024

Courier Health: Creating a Purpose-Built CRM for Specialty Drugs

Doctor sits at computer with stethoscope next to computer

The number of specialty medicines has exploded in the past decade, creating a massive market totaling close to $400B in total specialty drug sales. Last year alone, specialty medicines made up 93 percent of all drug approvals and the upcoming pipeline looks to continue this trend. Specialty drugs are poised to be the largest area of growth in pharma, improving the lives of people with cancer, chronic conditions, and rare immunological, neurological, and genetic diseases.

However, the promise of these drugs is being undermined by lags in technology to support all facets of the patient journey. Until now.

Today, Norwest is delighted to announce our Series A investment in Courier Health, a technology company reimagining how life science manufacturers engage and support patients. Our team is proud to support Courier Health’s continued product innovation to bring the company’s purpose-built, patient-focused customer relationship management (CRM) platform to more biopharma partners in search of a comprehensive system for coordinating and personalizing the patient journey.

Challenges in Launching and Scaling Specialty Drugs

Specialty drugs require a complex infrastructure to support prescriptions, insurance coverage, dispensing, specific patient administration, and patient adherence. The required workflows have to coordinate many stakeholders, both internally (patient support services, field reimbursement, patient marketing) and externally (specialty pharmacies, payors, financial assistance coordinators, provider care teams, and more).

Additionally, developing and delivering these specialty drugs is a multi-step, often recursive process that is fraught with patient drop-off. Between 60 and 70 percent of patients who are prescribed a specialty medicine either never start or discontinue within the first few months. It’s a critical problem that’s exacerbated by a complex, arduous process for patients who are already facing added stress and uncertainty.

Traditional CRM systems (such as Salesforce and Veeva), which are built for physician-facing sales teams and/or rely on industry-agnostic data models, are inadequate to handle the complexities of specialty drugs. This often results in:

  • Siloed systems that hinder communication between stakeholders
  • A lack of data and manual workflows that compound incomplete information
  • The need to hire costly consultants to customize systems for the life science and biopharma industry

Courier Health: A Single Solution to Coordinate the Entire Patient Experience

Recognizing these gaps in the specialty drug process, Courier Health set out to reinvent how life science manufacturers engage and support patients. Founded in 2020, Courier Health develops purpose-built, patient-focused CRM software that is uniquely positioned to be the system of record for the patient services, field reimbursement, and patient marketing divisions at life science companies.

graphic depicting the elements of Courier Health's CRM Platform


Courier Health, whose CRM platform offers unprecedented visibility, control, and coordination to supercharge the work of its users and these critical teams. It integrates disparate data sources and systems to provide a 360-degree view of the patient journey. This allows field access and patient services teams to efficiently resolve issues that prevent or delay patients from receiving life-altering therapy.

Leveraging the Courier Health Platform, disparate teams can be unified in how they initiate and maintain patient/prescriber engagement while enforcing regulatory and security compliance across different levels of the organization. The platform also embeds advanced analytics to recommend proactive interventions and generate reports so program leadership can stay on top of key KPIs and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.

Why Norwest Invested in Courier Health

When we first met Courier’s founder and CEO, Danny Sigurdson, we quickly determined he was the type of entrepreneur Norwest looks to partner with. He has an ambitious yet realizable vision, is customer-obsessed, and builds for where the market is going. Moreover, he embraces the challenge of competing against legacy incumbents. As we got to know the rest of the Courier Health team, it was clear that Danny has built a strong company culture attracting talented, passionate and like-minded team members.

The Courier Health team at an offsite

While conducting our market diligence, we consistently heard from early customers that Courier Health is a best-in-class product with the hallmarks of great vertical software: built-for-purpose workflows, configurability and flexibility with key industry systems, and outstanding end-user support.

Companies that chose Courier Health have achieved double-digit improvements to patient starts, time-to-start, and ongoing adherence — which means more patients starting and staying on game-changing therapies. One Field Reimbursement Manager said, “This is the most patient-first, easy-to-use, and sophisticated platform I’ve ever used.” We also heard “I don’t know how we would function without the Courier Health team…it’s amazing how much this helps us support our patients.” from a Patient Access Manager.

It is clear to us that Courier Health has a great product-market fit and is ready to take the next step in scaling its solution and establishing itself as a market leader in the patient-focused CRM category. Courier Health has demonstrated strong, efficient ARR growth by delivering an enterprise-ready system that meets the needs of even the most demanding customers.

Courier Health is beginning to take this market by storm. We are proud to partner with Danny and the rest of the Courier Health team as they build an enduring business with commercial biopharma organizations to ensure that more patients receive the breakthrough drugs they need.

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