May 8, 2019

Online medicine site Hims nabs former Lyft marketing executive

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Hims, an online seller of prescription health care products for such conditions as erectile dysfunction, recently hired former Lyft executive Melissa Waters as its first chief marketing officer, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: This comes shortly after a well-traveled New York Times story about "restaurant-menu medicine" companies like Hims, which operate in something of a regulatory blank space — connecting patients with doctors who prescribe without conducting in-person exams. Waters will be tasked with telling the story in a more positive light.

Hims founder and CEO Andrew Dudum acknowledges that his company is quite different from Waters' prior employer, but says that both are consumer brands for which "trust and safety" is paramount:

"We're mostly serving a young demographic of people who otherwise feel stigmatized, or are uncomfortable discussing their health needs. They need to feel that their relationship with us is comfortable and secure, and I can't think of a consumer business that's done it better than Lyft."

As for the NY Times story, Dudum says it "didn't really articulate anything we felt was out of clinical protocol and outside standards," adding that Hims has no equity relationships with the third-party pharmacies with which it works. He also doesn't believe that the industry needs federal regulation, instead believing that state medical boards are doing an "incredible job."

San Francisco-based Hims, which claims to have shipped over 1 million orders in its first year of operation, has made several other recent executive hires in addition to Waters:

  • Chief financial officer: Spencer Lee, former CFO of online design marketplace Minted.
  • Chief operating officer: Melissa Baird, former VP of systems and procedures at Reese Witherspoon's lifestyle brand Draper James.
  • Chief technology officer: Charles Henrich, former engineering director at Google and CTO for Shazam Entertainment.
  • General counsel: Soleil Teubner Boughton, former product counsel for Google's health care and life sciences unit and Google Cloud.

Hims operates a sister site called Hers for women's health products, and most recently was valued by venture capitalists at $1 billion.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Infections number tops 140,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now infected over 142,000 people in the U.S. — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: COVID-19 had killed over 2,400 people in the U.S. by Sunday night. That's far fewer than in Italy, where over 10,000 people have died — accounting for a third of the global death toll. The number of people who've recovered from the virus in the U.S. exceeded 2,600 Sunday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 14 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 721,584 — Total deaths: 33,958 — Total recoveries: 149,122.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 142,106 — Total deaths: 2,479 — Total recoveries: 2,686.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

World coronavirus updates: Cases surge past 720,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now more than 720,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 33,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health