Week-end short takes: Amazon Pharmacy automating couponing of insulin and supplies, Mendaera imaging/robotics wins $24M, Access Group acquires Oysta (UK)

An automation innovation that will attract diabetics. Amazon Pharmacy, in an attention-grabbing move, is working with several manufacturers to automate coupons that discount diabetic drugs (insulin) and supplies. These will come from 15 diabetes care brands and include some of the most commonly prescribed products from Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, Sanofi, Dexcom, and Insulet, such as insulin vials, pens, continuous glucose monitors, and pumps. The coupons are sponsored by the manufacturers and can drive the cost for these supplies to start at $35 a month. The cost of insulin and diabetic supplies has been a major issue, and while manufacturers have offered coupons, actually obtaining them from manufacturer websites can be a complicated procedure. Amazon’s program was applauded by the head of the American Diabetes Association.  Amazon is also offering them for COPD, weight loss medications, and EpiPens. MedCityNews, HealthcareFinance

A notable Series A this week is San Mateo, California-based Mendaera, which developed a robotic system that merges real-time imaging, AI and robotics for minimally invasive care. Still in semi-stealth, their raise is $24 million led by Lux Capital with participation from Founders Fund, Operator Partners, and Allen & Company, LLC. Other investors include Intuitive Surgical and Auris Health founder Dr. Fred Moll and former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey. They have moved into a new production facility in Silicon Valley. Release, Mobihealthnews

Access Group acquires Oysta Technologies. Oysta, a provider of care technology solutions for safe, independent living in the UK and Spain, will be part of Access Group’s Health, Support and Care (HSC) division that provides software for health, local government, and care organizations. In the UK, Oysta works with local authorities, social care providers, housing associations, care homes, and NHS Trusts. Acquisition cost was not disclosed. Oysta announcement, Access announcement   Hat tip to Adrian Scaife, Business Development Manager for Assure, via LinkedIn

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