Telemedicine company Hims & Hers is an exception among public digital health companies in that it evokes optimism among Wall Street investors.
While other public digital health companies have yet to come out of freefall, Hims & Hers is up 244% from a year ago. The direct-to-consumer company, providing telehealth and medical prescriptions for sexual health, hair loss, mental health and dermatology, has traded from $3.11 a share in May 2022 to $10.71 a share on Thursday afternoon.
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On Monday, Hims & Hers reported revenue of $190.8 million for the first quarter of 2023, up 88% from $101.3 million in 2022. The company also doubled its numbers. subscribers to 1.2 million between 2022 and 2023.
Hims & Hers co-founder and CEO, Andrew Dudum, talked about the possibility of entering the GLP-1 weight loss pill market, the amount of money the company spends marketing to consumers, etc. Interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Right after your earnings call, there was a bit of a sell-off on Wall Street. To what extent does that worry you?
Honestly, I think internally we have a particular long-term direction with this business. I think that’s probably one of the biggest opportunities to create value and wealth for shareholders and customers over the next decade. The stock has gone up 300% or 400% in the past year, right? 5% or 10% volatility doesn’t really affect us. It’s likely that people just transfer money one way or another.
Your marketing spend has grown from $48 million in 2022 to $97 million this year. Is it due to higher customer acquisition costs or growth goals?
We are allowing ourselves to rely on and share. I think in a lot of situations, [we want to] Position the company a year or 18 months from now to stay ahead of our competitors. I think this advantage that we have had from the scale, efficiency, and ruthlessness of execution over the past three and five years has put us in this position to share. We are taking the opportunity to do so [by looking at a] longer-term vision.
What are the new segmentation types that are of most interest to you right now?
The categories that excite me the most have several overlapping dynamics. First, they have mass market implications for society. Assuming metabolic health or heart health. These are the influences [up to] 50% of the country. Then you look at the percentage of these patients who don’t get treatment and I think it really has an impact.
If you can find categories of great benefit to help the masses, [specifically, where] The masses don’t know the treatment [or] they are not educated about what is available… That’s where we have a great opportunity. The combination of innovation to break down some of the barriers that are preventing treatment and then overlay that innovation in categories where tens of millions of people need care. Personally, I think that’s what excites us the most and where we spend most of our time.
There’s a lot of craze around weight loss drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, and other GLP-1 agonists, especially in terms of digital health. What are your thoughts on that segment?
I think there’s a lot of excitement for good reason. You have tens of millions of people suffering from obesity, a disease that clearly affects everything from muscle health to diabetes and heart health. For the first time in a long time, it looks like we have some treatment options that may be particularly effective. We are really excited by it. We’ve always felt that it’s in the company’s best interest to methodically and thoughtfully execute our launches and keep an eye on things as they unfold. In many situations, that means you’re not a frontrunner. That means making sure we’re bringing to market something that we can 100% guarantee from clinical efficacy to availability to affordability and from a differentiation point of view to the market. school. I think there are still a lot of open questions in our minds about how we are going to bring this product to market in a way that meets the standard that we have set for ourselves as a company. Recently, we have invited many experts to help us shape our point of view. But clearly there is a big opportunity. Honestly, I just think there are a few open questions for us that we’re still working on.
The price of GLP-1 agonists is high and the supply is limited. How do you manage to work in such an environment, which is different from the many conditions you serve when there are affordable generic alternatives?
I think the scalability of the Hims & Hers model allows for a lot of different business models. It allows us to have fairly simple insurance integration and cash payment models, where copayments and insurance are consistent and reasonable. In a world where GLP-1 [medications]or say, a brand-name drug as the first line of treatment, we are well equipped to handle that situation.
Honestly, I think there are still only questions about what is the first treatment? Insurance companies and self-insured employers are making it very clear that they don’t believe that GLP-1 should be… I think there’s a big open question as to what the clinical category really is. suitable for treatment? What is the correct rhythm of a patient? Where should they start? How should they progress through that? That’s where we’re working with experts. There are so many opportunities to take advantage of so many unknown drugs with truly amazing clinical effects that have been around for a long time.
This story first appeared in Digital Health Business & Technology.