Q&A: GoodRx on partnerships for reducing drug prices

Q&A: GoodRx on partnerships for reducing drug prices

Prescription cost savings company GoodRx partnered with grocery chain Publix to bring the company’s GoodRx Gold platform to Publix customers. 

The Gold platform offers prescription drug savings as well as telehealth options, including provider visits and telepharmacy appointments. 

Doug Hirsch, cofounder and chief mission officer at GoodRx, sat down with MobiHealthNews to discuss the partnership and what GoodRx has planned for 2024. 

MobiHealthNews: Can you tell me about the partnership between GoodRx and Publix? How does this increase access for the Publix consumer base?  

Doug Hirsch: GoodRx Gold is the best of GoodRx. It is a membership program where consumers sign up on goodrx.com or via our mobile app, and they get access to incredibly low prices that allows them to basically find affordable solutions to their care. 

It can really bring down consumers out-of-pocket costs, whether they have health insurance, or even if they don’t. Oftentimes, people think GoodRx is just for people who don’t have insurance, but even if you have health insurance, we can find really incredible low prices. 

We also offer discounted telehealth visits if you can’t get to the doctor and you want to see someone you know via Zoom, and it works at Albertsons, CVS, Safeway and, of course, now … it works at Publix as well, over 1,200 Publix pharmacies. 

MHN: How exactly does that work for Publix consumers? If I’m a Publix customer, do I sign up for GoodRx through them or do I sign up through GoodRx? 

Hirsch: You sign up on the GoodRx website. 

You just answer a few questions and tell us who you are, and basically, you end up getting a card, which is either on the mobile app, or you’re going to get a physical card if you prefer to put one in your wallet. And then, just like your insurance cards, you get the same kinds of numbers that someone would have with insurance. You just literally bring it in, you show it to the pharmacist, they put it on file, and then they’ll use GoodRx for all your transactions. 

It works in the same way as insurance and pharmacists know what it is. There’s no issues when you get to the pharmacy. 

MHN: Could you talk about some of the prescriptions that are included with GoodRx Gold? Is insulin covered? 

Hirsch: GoodRx Gold is really best for generic drugs. About 90% of the drugs consumers fill in this country are generic, and that is where the most price variation is, where, even with insurance, you can find incredibly expensive prices. 

So, it mostly focuses on generic drugs. There are savings for multiple drugs on GoodRx. You can often find great savings for brand or generic drugs. But I guess it would depend on the individual drug and often the individual dosage and form you’re looking for. But again, it works for thousands of drugs, and it works for the vast majority of drugs that consumers are looking to fill. 

MHN: Can you tell me more about GoodRx Gold’s telehealth offerings? 

Hirsch: We have dozens of services that you can find help with. 

There’s, you know, everything from general care testing and skin screening and hair medication refill, pregnancy testing, yeast infections. I mean, there’s basically a whole bunch of different reasons why or potential issues where our physicians can basically talk to you on the phone or talk to you on the computer and basically, if a prescription is necessary, they could actually prescribe it to the pharmacy, and then, of course, you can use your gold discount to get it. I should be clear that GoodRx can be used by anyone, but Gold will give you a discounted price. 

MHN: What does GoodRx have on the horizon for 2024? 

Hirsch: There’s the generic drugs that you and I have talked about, but we also have a rapidly growing business around brand drugs, those drugs you read about in the headlines are $1,000 or $10,000. We can find drugs for as low as $0. 

We’ve continued to improve our relationship with retailers like Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart – those are the pharmacies in America where we’ve got just deeper and better relationships, which results in the benefit to the consumer, not just for price, but for convenience. 

And then, we’re also integrating GoodRx directly into many insurance plans these days. So, if you have an insurance card, in some cases, you can get the benefit of a lower price by GoodRx just automatically built into your insurance card. So, you don’t even have to sign up. You don’t have to go to our website or print out a coupon. You literally can just present your insurance card, if you’re on an eligible plan, and you’ll get the lowest price of GoodRx or your insurance.

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