Help Remedies curing everything from colds to love lives

A pop-up pharmacy by Help Remedies advertised medication in innovative ways. The 'Help Shop' was open during November on 10th Street in D.C. (WTOP/Madeline Tallman)
Pop-up pharmacy the Help Shop, operated by Help Remedies, was open during November on 10th Street NW. (WTOP/Madeline Tallman)
Visitors said the Help Shop looked more like an art gallery than pharmacy. (WTOP/Madeline Tallman)
This wall showed "sad," messy medicine cabinets. (WTOP/Madeline Tallman)
The store's display table in the center of the room had small nicknacks to entertain customers and further explain the philosophy behind Help Remedies. (WTOP/Madeline Tallman)
"Help I can't sleep" is one of 10 medications by Help Remedies. Each pill contains one active ingredient in an effort to keep excess materials like dyes and medicines to a minimum. (WTOP/Madeline Tallman)
Help Remedies packaging is made of paper pulp and corn starch to enable a faster biodegrading process. In three weeks, only the plastic outer lining remains. (WTOP/Madeline Tallman)
Help Remedies also sells T-shirts and then gives the proceeds to different local charities. If a customer buys "help I'm sick," the proceeds go to local clinics. (WTOP/Madeline Tallman)
Help Remedies can be purchased at CVS for $3.99 per package. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)

Madeline Tallman, special to

WASHINGTON – Instead of reaching for Tylenol or Motrin to cure your next migraine, the drug “Help, I have a headache” may just do the trick.

The medication is one of the products offered by Help Remedies, a start-up company from New York City that aims to make over-the-counter health care simpler for consumers. After making its name known around Manhattan, co-founders Richard Fine and Nathan Frank decided to expand their venture to the nation’s capital where health care is a hot topic in the political atmosphere.

In November, the business partners opened a temporary pharmacy called a “Help Shop” on 10th Street NW in the former location of Waffle Shop across from Ford’s Theatre. The goal of the pop-up shop was to sell products and spread the word about the company.

Olivia Bell, a sales representative at the D.C. Help Shop, says the store acted more like a gallery than a place of commerce. Much of the store was dedicated to describing the company’s philosophy of simplifying the pharmaceutical business.

According to Fine, the company’s CEO, health care problems are consistent at doctor’s offices, hospital waiting rooms and on prescription labels. Everything is a confusing and difficult process, and health care providers do not make things easier, he says.

To try and fix that, Help Remedies sells single-active ingredient medications, which means that a sleeping pill is just a sleep aid with no extra dyes or other medications. The same goes for pain relievers, which have just one active ingredient in each pill.

“We really started this from a perspective that medicine needed a little more humanity and simplicity,” Fine says. “We felt that there was a need to make health care in general simpler, easier, friendlier, more human.”

The simplicity goes beyond the product with the names of each medication

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