Former execs at Blink Health — whose founder Matthew Chaiken ended up mired in controversy and lawsuits after predicting he was “going to be Steve Jobs” — have just launched a rival drug-discounting site.
The new site, called Hippo, offers prescription drugs at discounts of up to 97 percent off what national chains charge. An EpiPen, for example — which at a traditional pharmacy costs more than $250 — sets back Hippo users by only $58.
“Our belief is that if you have pricing transparency, pricing goes down,” Hippo co-founder Eugene Kakaulin told The Post. “We want to be able to provide people with attractive prices everywhere.”
If the concept sounds familiar, that’s because co-founder Kakaulin served as the financial chief of Blink Health, a Silicon Valley-backed venture that got famous partly for offering deep discounts on a generic version of Viagra.
Kakaulin eventually sued Blink, alleging he was fired and robbed of his stock-based compensation for questioning its “shady” business tactics, including spying on business partners and employees.
Upon learning of Hippo, Blink sued Kakaulin and co-founder Charles Jacoby for $250 million, accusing them of running a “copycat” company. After settling months of litigation, Hippo is ready to move forward.
“I can only share what is public,” Jacoby told The Post. “They sued us in state court; we won. They sued us in federal court; we won. Hippo is now fully released and unencumbered to pursue its business.”
Jacoby is betting that Hippo’s pharmacy network, which includes CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, will vault it past Blink, which doesn’t partner with CVS or Walgreens.
Blink CEO Chaiken, according to the lawsuit, considered himself a star in the making, bragging to his then-girlfriend that “Every woman at this company wants to f- -k me,” and predicting that he was “going to be Steve Jobs.”