So what does GoodRx have to do with that?
GoodRx requires extra time in the filling process. It's a lot like having patients change their insurance information EVERY time they fill a prescription. The GoodRx information, (BIN, PCN, Group, and ID number) must be added to the patient's profile with each new prescription. Even if that's not really true, patients think so and argue that they want the separate info put in for each prescription. Naturally, patients with regular insurance or the in-house discount only go through this process one time.
Using GoodRx adds time and stress to the burden already experienced by the pharmacy crew to fill prescriptions in minimal time.
When a pharmacy team member spends extra time fussing with GoodRx nonsense the entire crew ends up hurrying with other prescriptions to meet their quota, and THAT compromises patient safety! Essentially what GoodRx is promoting is a "lower" price over patient safety.
Does GoodRx really add time to the process?
Let's examine what I'm talking about. I've had to deal with the nonsense of GoodRx since they've started, and this side by side comparison of with/without is not an exaggeration:
In this illustration the time to fill is more than doubled because of the extra time wasted by the GoodRx "model." Obviously this isn't the case with every prescription, but in every case GoodRx does add time to the filling process. Don't believe me? Ask any pharmacist or technician.
I did on Twitter. This isn't a scientific poll, but clearly it shows that 79% the respondents have experienced an increase in time to fill the prescription:
What makes it worse is the proliferation of OTHER discount cards added to the process. Any pharmacist or pharmacy technician will tell you about patients that bring in two or three (or more) discount cards and ask that each discount be tried for each individual medication. This is extremely time-consuming and tedious. It adds time to the filling process and it takes time away from a technician that could be filling other prescriptions. In reality, the entire discount card nonsense is putting patient safety at risk.
Why is GoodRx not so good for pharmacies?
Todd Pendergraft, an independent pharmacy owner, goes into great detail how these discount cards hurt pharmacy owners. Click to see this VIDEO or watch it here:
Because independent pharmacists feel like they have to take GoodRx to be competitive, they end up losing money. In the case of chain pharmacies, contracts with Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) require that pharmacies accept GoodRx as part of their contract agreement.
Does GoodRx (and the other discount cards) really save that much money?
Hundreds of dollars? Really?
No, not really. ABC News 15 news channel did a comparison of savings with these discount cards. The actual savings to consumers averaged 16%, not 80% as GoodRx will tell you. (See LINK).
So let's say for the average person the average cash price of a medication is $30. That's actually high. The average cash outlay per person for an average selection of medications is about $150 per year (See LINK). But let's go with the $30. At 16% that's a whopping savings of $4.80... as I said, over and over, it's just a few bucks.
Is it really worth overworking the pharmacy staff and jeopardizing patient safety for a few bucks?
There will be more about GoodRx in tomorrow's blog post Not-so-GoodRx Part II.
Here's the LINK.