1. GoodRx obtains prices of drugs at all pharmacies through contracts it has with PBMs (middleman that determines insurance payouts to pharmacies).
2. Pharmacies have wildly different prices from one another - going to one pharmacy over another can save you and your insurance a lot of money.
3. When you use a GoodRx coupon, the insurance company pays GoodRx a small amount as they had to spend less on their patient thanks to the coupon (i.e they didn’t use a super expensive pharmacy).
4. The pharmacy pays GoodRx a referral fee (kind of like a restaurant pays yelp a referral fee when you use a yelp coupon).
Over the last 5 years, insurance companies are increasingly pushing high deductible plans on to employers. As a result, patients are way more price sensitive than they used to be. If you had no deductible, you probably wouldn’t care too much about drug price differences because the copays wouldn’t be that different. However, due to these new plans you care a lot more and hence services like GoodRx and Blink become a lot more important.
Is this another data harvesting play? Why would insurance companies give GoodRx a piece of their revenue? They all have their own PBMs.
Why would a pharmacy give them a piece of their revenue? They can just charge $0.01 less to the patient and not have to pay a commission to GoodRx.
I was subscribed an otic cream that cost over $200 when the pharmacist told me there were similar, slightly less effective drops for $50. I spent 2 hours at the pharmacy calling back to my physician and waiting to try to get the prescription changed. Most don't have that time flexibility to do that.
I think the pharmacist regretted telling me, as it was such a pain to get the prescription changed with my Dr.
Imagine if your car mechanic recommended a fix but had no idea what the parts would cost. And the difference between two perfectly suitable parts could be the equivalent of half of someone’s paycheck.
For many ailments there are five or six different drugs suited for the job. Goodrx helps me pick the most affordable.
Interesting. I wonder if this is because you're an ER doc and work in a hospital? Every doctor I know who sees patients in an office has to deal with sales reps.
I'm all for generics, but I'd like the government to do its part to protect the health and safety of the citizenry. (And no, I don't believe big pharma is being honest.)
My doc could certainly use the same site I do to check. Her EMR could certainly check.
My doc will sit there with me as I look up prices and compare cheaper meds. I just wish it was faster to save both our time.
It'd be interesting to see a couple worked examples of why their prices end up lower.
In many cases, that's not going to make financial sense.
The real answer is the forbid these rebates and force drug companies to sell at a reasonable price. That is why Medicare prevents this kind of scheme. Also California recently restricts rebates on generic medicines. I have an essential drug due to my dialysis that became generic. I used to get a $85/month copay subsidy from the drug manufacturer. When it became generic, the copay became $10. You should have seen how hard they drug company employees were trying to push me to complain to state legislators about this.
Getting an antiviral for early flu symptoms is much better when it takes 5 minutes for a prescription rather than a day or two for an appointment plus a few hours.
Similarly for UTI prescriptions or doing a strep throat test and course of antibiotics.
If we can avoid all the “no brainer” visits then that frees up healthcare for more important stuff.
In any case, I'll never use their service(s).
Price comparison sites is not a new thing?
I've brought a GoodRX coupon to the pharmacy a couple of times, and every single time it's been cheaper with my insurance (which isn't anything special).
The last time I did this, I was also puzzled to hear the pharmacist say that they "already had my GoodRX coupon in the system". I thought the coupon would be unique for each medication.
Theoretically your insurer should provide that via some sort of online portal, but in my experience the usability of such tools has always been terrible.
Prescription benefit managers like Medco/ExpressScript have offered such options for years...Not sure what the GoodRX angle is.
I don't know anything about the competitors, but do they have as frictionless of a UX?
(Their customer service blows, though.)
I’m not talking about copays. My insurance doesn’t have a coppay until I hit the deductible. I’m paying cash for the drugs.
If you're paying cash outside of insurance coverage, it's not counting towards the deductible or annual out-of-pocket max, which screws you if you have significant other healthcare costs.
That's pretty normal, even with traditional insurance, and has been for at least 20 years.
For a medicine I take, it's $28 for a 30-day supply, and $25 for a 90-day supply. The catch is that the non-SV insurance companies usually require that you get the 90-day supply by mail. Perhaps this is where GoodRx has an advantage.
Adding "prescription services" now, essentially GoodRx is becoming a health insurance company that doesn't actually do the insurance part. I mean, it's really offering virtual doctor visits.
So the next step would be "emergency coverage" for an "additional monthly service fee" with an optional "self-pay threshold" for lower monthly fees and higher "emergency assurance".
I think it would be a good thing if they could take it all the way. The thing that is not clear is whether any company could actually make that profitable without excluding people who had certain expensive conditions.