Silicon Prairie News

SPN interviews Emily Kaminski of Emily’s Project

Omaha August 26, 2009 by Danny Schreiber


When Inc. magazine's January issue hit the newsstands with the cover story "And the Money Comes Rolling In," I didn't wait a day to share it with my friends. "Check out the subheading," I'd exclaim, "[Plenty of Fish founder] Markus Frind works one hour a day and brings in $10 million a year. How does he do it? He keeps things simple."

I've learned I wasn't the only one with this reaction. Emily Kaminski's husband, Charles, finished the article and said to her, "Why can't I do something like this?" Emily recollected.

What followed their conversation was an endeavor by Emily that I'd argue has tuned out a bit more altruistic than Frind's. In February, she began working on, a site where she hopes to create a community that will help each other lower health care costs as well as share knowledge with each other about health insurance, programs, and resources.

"It's pretty complicated, even if you're healthy." Emily said in our interview, "I'm a healthy person, and I get confused and tripped up."

In fact, it was a confusing incident the previous year that brought Emily to take action. After learning her prescription would cost $55 to fill, she called two other pharmacies and received two lower quotes, $41 and $18. "So, I started to look around and see if you could find that information out on the Internet." Her search turned no results, and after encouragement from her husband, who she calls an entrepreneur as well, she began her research.

Check out my interview with Emily to hear about her goals for and success stories from Emily's Project, her experience participating in our Creative Capital Pitch Session I and II, and her latest idea,

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I love the concept and purpose Emily, but can you help me better understand why a cost-conscious shopper wouldn't just opt for the $4 generic at Wal-Mart/Target?

Also, why wouldn't a curious patient looking for more information about a prescribed drug just use one of the many medical sites (i.e. WebMD), or better yet - consult w/the prescribing Dr.?

Aug 27, 2009 at 05:57 PM

Sure, Keith.

A $4 generic is not always available (although great when they are). The $4 list can vary from pharmacy to pharmacy so some people may find their particular generic is only available at one pharmacy.

There is so little price awareness for many, many pharmaceuticals. Since many people are working with insurance to an extent, they mistakenly assume that it doesn't matter. I think there is not enough awareness of the fact that prices aren't the same everywhere even if you are insured. We don't have too much competition in this area. However, when Walmart offered $4 generics look how many followed suit!

As for your second question, I think a site like WebMd is a great site and talking with a doctor is obviously something anyone with a prescription has done. So I picture discussions with comments like, "my doctor prescribed this and when it didn't work, he prescribed X." and "I didn't have X side effect" or "I had to stop taking it when X happened." More like a conversation with a peer group than with a professional. As a mom, I can tell you all the stuff I read in books about raising kids is helpful, but I still like to hear about other people's actual experiences.

Aug 28, 2009 at 05:42 PM

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