IAC’s Newco Incubator Launches Addiction Recovery Platform Oar
Jan 23, 2024
Newco, an incubator owned by IAC, today announced the launch of Oar, a new company focused on making science-backed addiction medicine approachable and accessible for the millions of consumers who feel excluded from today’s addiction treatment options, including those for whom moderation—not just abstinence—is the primary goal. Founded by former healthcare executive Jonathan Hunt-Glassman, who struggled with his own addiction before the help of a medication-forward approach, Oar’s model is based on consensus clinical guidelines that favor medication-assisted treatment as a first-line treatment for moderate to severe Alcohol Use Disorder, Oar’s launch application.
As part of today’s announcement, Oar also announced David Kopp, former Healthline CEO and veteran consumer healthcare and digital leader, has joined as Executive Chairman as it looks to grow and extend its platform to other forms of addiction. Founded in 2020, Oar already reaches thousands of subscribers and is live in 20 states.
“As a culture we have outdated views about options for treating addiction. When people think of treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder, they think of support groups, therapy and inpatient rehab, which are for many people inconvenient, stigmatizing, or prohibitively expensive. That is why less than 10% of people with AUD actually receive treatment. Evidence shows there are other effective options,” said Jonathan Hunt-Glassman, Founder and CEO of Oar.
Continued Mr. Hunt-Glassman, “I struggled with Alcohol Use Disorder before I found an addiction medicine specialist who supported my goal of moderation rather than abstinence and encouraged me to give medication a try. Not everyone is ready to check in to rehab or go to meetings, and those steps should not be a prerequisite for getting effective treatment for a common medical condition. Our mission at Oar is to give people a place to start, using the power of a private digital platform to make evidence-based addiction medicine accessible to as many people who can benefit as possible.” How it Works
Customers visit to learn about medication-assisted treatment and complete a dynamic, online assessment. Oar’s licensed clinicians will review within 24 hours to determine a treatment plan, which may or may not include medication. If deemed medically appropriate, a licensed medical professional will prescribe safe, effective, FDA-approved medication, which can be delivered by mail conveniently and discreetly as part of an Oar subscription plan. Customers can connect and chat with their clinician through secure messaging in their Oar patient portal at any time.
Oar is available in 20 states, with more coming soon, and all clinicians—medical doctors, nurse practitioners and other qualified professionals—are licensed to practice in their respective locations.
Oar’s clinical model was developed by Oar’s Chief Clinical Advisor and leading researcher Joshua D. Lee, MD, Professor of Population Health and Medicine at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Director of the NYU Fellowship in Addiction Medicine. Oar’s model is rooted in consensus clinical guidelines that favor first-line treatment with naltrexone for patients with moderate-to-severe AUD.
Only about 3,000 physicians in the US are certified in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry. Unlike many physicians, Oar’s clincians are fully trained on Oar’s clinical model and protocols for treating addiction before they start practicing on the Oar platform.
Unlike the current addiction paradigm, Oar supports all patients who are trying to change their relationship with alcohol, whether their goal is moderation or abstinence, and provides treatment confidentially and non-judgmentally. Customers don’t have to worry about awkward moments in doctors’ waiting rooms or at the pharmacy counter.
Initial assessments are a flat $50 fee with prescription plans—should medication be deemed medically appropriate—starting at $39 per month.
“Telemedicine platforms like Oar have an incredible opportunity to increase access to medication as part of an evidence-based treatment plan,” said Joshua D. Lee, MD, Oar’s Chief Clinical Advisor. “The research is clear that naltrexone can help patients who drink too much reduce their alcohol consumption and experience fewer cravings. Relative to the scale of alcohol problems in our society, it is shocking that so few people know about naltrexone’s benefits and so few doctors prescribe it.”
“Addiction and compulsion are pervasive problems in our society,” said David Kopp, Chairman at Oar. “Starting with Alcohol Use Disorder, Oar is charting a new path to help millions of people who feel overwhelmed, judged or that traditional treatment options are inaccessible or exclude them. I am excited to help Oar build a new paradigm of treatment without barriers.”
“It has been really exciting to support Jonathan in building a product that is truly changing people's lives,” said Marissa Wilson Gibbons, co-CEO, Newco. “The early customer feedback has been so fulfilling for our team, and we know this is just the beginning of Oar's impact on AUD and other addictions in the future."
To learn more visit www.oarhealth.com
Oar is an addiction recovery platform that makes science-backed, medication-assisted addiction treatment approachable and accessible for millions of consumers who feel excluded by the current treatment landscape and who may have a wide range of goals, from moderation to abstinence. Our mission is to give anyone struggling with addiction a place to start, using the power of telemedicine to make medication-assisted addiction treatment accessible to all. Oar is based in Brooklyn, NY and is a part of Newco, IAC’s incubation platform. Learn more at www.oarhealth.com
Launched in 2019, Newco is IAC’s incubator platform, which works hand-in-hand with founders to arm them with the team, tools, and capital to bring their ideas to life. Newco uniquely marries decades of start-up experience with IAC’s 25+ year track record, partnering with great founders to nurture a new generation of category winners. Learn more at www.buildwithnewco.com
About The Author
Oar is a telemedicine platform that makes science-backed, medication-assisted addiction treatment approachable and accessible for millions of consumers who feel excluded by the current treatment landscape and who may have a wide range of goals, from moderation to abstinence.