Comparison shop for prescriptions with Good Rx app
Reviewed by Meleik Goodwill, Medical Director
A new, free smartphone app will research the best prices on prescriptions no matter where you are.
The Good Rx app for iPhone users searches for the lowest retail price for prescriptions in your area.
Here’s how the app works: Users enter in the name of the prescription they are shopping around for along with their zip code. The app then shows a list and map of prices for the brand name and generic versions of the drug the user is seeking — both from local brick-and-mortar pharmacies as well as mail order ones. GoodRx claims that it has more than 1 million prices for more than 6,000 brand name and generic drugs. In addition, consumers can set up refill reminders and price alerts through GoodRx’s My Prescriptions feature, which emails the latest prices in time for a consumer’s next refill.
Using the app I found some substantial price differences in the same medication; for example the common antibiotic medication Amoxicillan had price ranges from $2 to $12.
“The good news is that the price of many important prescription drugs has decreased over the last few years. The bad news is that prices vary wildly and health insurance covers less and less of those costs. We can instantly compare prices for home electronics, airline tickets and cars — so why not drugs?” stated Doug Hirsch, co-founder and chief executive officer of GoodRx.
“GoodRx empowers consumers, doctors and health care providers to make educated decisions about what drugs to prescribe and where to fill them. This technology not only saves money but also encourages consumers to fill and refill the prescriptions they need to stay healthy.”
Americans spent more than $300 billion on 4 billion prescription fills in 2010. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, there were nearly 50 million uninsured Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 in 2010. GoodRx provides price and discount information saves money for both cash-paying and insured consumers, who can often find generic drugs for less than their insurance co-pay. GoodRx can also be a valuable tool for:
- Senior citizens without prescription benefits, estimated by the Kaiser Family Foundation. to be about 5 million; senior citizens covered by Medicare stuck in the “donut hole”.
- Individuals with untaxed health spending accounts, health insurance plans that have high deductibles or a co-pay as a percentage of prescription costs.
- Insured individuals whose employers have scaled back health insurance benefits.
“One of the best ways patients can use GoodRx is at their doctor’s office, when they receive a prescription. Too often, prescriptions go unfilled because patients cannot afford them,” said Dr. Sharon Orrange, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Southern California and author of GoodRx’s Small Doses Blog. “With GoodRx, patients can be their own health care advocate and find the lowest price brand name or generic drug while still in their doctor’s office.”
The app also provides printable coupons for discounts at pharmacies and tips for saving money on prescriptions. You can schedule reminders for refilling prescriptions as well as price change alerts.
Key Features of GoodRx:
- Instant access to current cash and negotiated prices at local pharmacies.
- Access to free discount coupons that can be used at most pharmacies.
- My Prescriptions email refill reminders with the up-to-date prices for their medicine.
- Specific strategies and tips for consumers to increase savings.
- Drug manufacturer coupons which can be worth $1000 or more per year.
Last month a similar app launched: LowestMed. The big difference between the two is that LowestMed is a discount prescription membership app that helps users save on prescription drugs, while GoodRx helps users find the most competitive retail prices.
“GoodRx represents the future of health care in the U.S. as consumers look for more transparency in the health and drug industry,” said Dawn Lepore, former CEO of Drugstore.com and advisor to GoodRx. “GoodRx is led by very talented internet entrepreneurs who helped shape internet giants Yahoo and Facebook. They are bringing much needed innovation to the process of purchasing prescription medicines and they are poised to have a significant impact on the way Americans think about buying their prescription medicines.”