Meet entrepreneur Jack Simityan, PharmD ‘11, chief operations officer at SortPak, a Glendale-based personalized pharmacy packaging and delivery service with a goal to improve medication adherence.
Simityan established the company with Chief Executive Officer Raymond Shirvanyan in 2018. The idea grew out of their experience at a previous company started by Shirvanyan, TNH Advanced Specialty Pharmacy, which focused on drugs for cancer.
“At TNH we noticed a lot of patients were not following a proper medication regimen and would experience side effects,” Simityan recalls. “As pharmacists, we would step in and help develop medication plans for them. This inspired us to start SortPak and work with a broader population beyond oncology.”
SortPak delivers packages to its members that include all their medications with instructions and schedules for proper use. “We also have an online portal, AlignRx, that allows us to have an updated list of medications for each patient,” Simityan says. SortPak partners with health plans so members can receive a 90- to 100-day supply of medications and cut down on their pharmacy visits.
The company currently serves thousands of members, with older patients who have extensive medication lists finding it particularly advantageous, according to Shirvanyan.“Members can also chat with a pharmacist and get recommendations on over-the-counter medications based on symptoms they are experiencing,” Simityan says.
The entrepreneurs ultimately plan to augment their delivery service with brick-and-mortar locations in every state so members can enjoy the option of an accessible pharmacy. “We are also working on partnering with more health plans,” Simityan adds. “Medicare uses a Star Rating System to measure how well health plans are doing. The goal of these health plans is to have healthy patients and reduce hospitalizations. That’s why a lot of these plans are on board with the services SortPak offers.”
When advising aspiring entrepreneurs, Simityan notes the importance of being open-minded and paying attention to healthcare issues that need solutions. “Look at what is out there and create a niche where you can contribute your expertise to a new initiative,” he urges. Then you can make changes to improve people’s health and wellbeing.
Simityan credits his experiences at USC for helping instill big ambitions and the skills to achieve them. “When I was an undergraduate, I worked closely with Clay Wang, chair and professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences,” Simityan recalls. “He inspired me because he did research on therapeutics that could help astronauts deal with the side effects of space travel. That’s something that not a lot of people think about and execute! Working with him showed me that there is more to pharmacy than just dispensing medication.”
In addition, he says, “USC also sets up its students for success, and being a part of the Trojan Family has opened so many doors for me.”