Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
- GoodRx, a website that helps consumers shop around for lower cash prices for their prescription drugs, quietly started offering online pharmacy options in its price comparisons.
- GoodRx shows prices for your prescriptions at stores like CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. Now, users might also see options to get their prescription through online healthcare startups like Hims or Roman, which can prescribe and ship medication to your door.
- The company is still experimenting with the model, but GoodRx CEO Doug Hirsh told Business Insider that the move has been popular so far.
GoodRx, one of the oldest websites that lets people compare prices for prescription drugs, is adding in online upstarts to its list of prices.
Alongside options to pick up prescriptions at pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens and Walmart, people shopping around for lower cash prices for their medications via GoodRx may have started to see an option to get their prescription delivered by mail.
GoodRx CEO Doug Hirsch told Business Insider that the reason it added online options is to help consumer get a better picture of all the ways they can get their medicine.
"We spend a lot of time trying to decrease the cost of healthcare," Hirsch said. "But if someone can make available more convenient and affordable ways to get prescriptions, that’s music to our ears."
GoodRx is best known for its work pulling together cash prices for medications at different pharmacies so those who don’t have insurance or have to pay high prices out of pocket can have a cheaper alternative. Three years ago, it started reaching out to some of the startups that are prescribing medications online to see if they could work together. As more startups have entered the market, the number of partnerships has grown.
GoodRx’s move to include online, mail-order pharmacies happening at a time when consumers are getting more and more used to shopping online for everyday items like groceries and clothes. In 2018, Amazon acquired online pharmacy PillPack, cementing itself in the market. At the same time, seemingly overnight a crop of companies have sprung up that can prescribe and mail you medications like birth control and Viagra, creating a market for people looking to get a particular medication without going to an in-person doctor’s visit.
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Displayed alongside retail pharmacy prices, GoodRx users might see "mail order" options. For instance, a search for the generic form of Viagra in New York turns up three options at different price points, denoting which services can connect users to a doctor for a prescription. The idea is to present options side by side in a marketplace so consumers can make their own choices.
In some cases, the outside companies are able to prescribe medications by connecting patients to doctors, while in the cases of Truepill and mailmyprescriptions.com, a prescription from an outside doctor is required. Truepill is the pharmacy that also powers many of the on-demand healthcare startups like Hims and Nurx.
While the program is still in the experimental phase, Hirsch said it’s been catching on.
"It’s been very popular," Hirsch said. "We’re driving traffic to each of these players now."
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