Saturday, July 27, 2019

10 Reasons WHY your Pharmacist HATES GoodRx

1. GoodRx calls it a “coupon” — like it’s a barcode we scan at the register and it takes money off a prescription co-pay like a grocery coupon works at the register. They even show a commercial suggesting that’s how it works and that it takes only seconds. It doesn’t work that way. We have to reverse the billing we’ve done, enter in the information like an insurance card, rebill, and print new paperwork. This is extremely tedious and time-consuming, especially when people are in line at the register. 

2. When you use GoodRx, you're trading your personal and private health information for what amounts to a few bucks in savings for almost all transactions. Do you want your employer, or your insurance company, or anyone else to know you’re on anti-depressants, HIV medication, Viagra, or that you regularly get medication for genital warts? When you use GoodRx, ALL that data regarding your prescription transaction is collected and stored. GoodRx employs people to dig into it analyze it. And they use and sell that data. At one time they printed on their website that they consider your data an asset and if/when they sell their company YOUR PRIVATE DATA gets sold too. 

3. GoodRx prints a regular card with billing info on it which gives one discount then if you go to their website and put in the specific drug name you get an even deeper discount. Why is that? Because they’ve captured a specific instance of all your demographic information attached directly to the medication you had filled. This is a gold mine for them so they give a better discount. 

You also have to understand that at the pharmacy this is yet another billing nightmare. The patient gets the card handed to them by the physician or they get one in the mail and they hand it to us. So we use that billing. THEN at the register the patient pulls up the app and sees a price they expect to get at the register. When it doesn't match the pharmacy has to start all over. This wastes EVERYONE's time!

4. Using GoodRx fragments healthcare. People often get multiple prescriptions from their physician and then when they get specific GoodRx prices for each of the meds the best prices are most often not all offered at the same pharmacy. People will take each prescription to a different pharmacy to get the best GoodRx price. This is DANGEROUS! No one pharmacy knows exactly what the patient is taking and we have no idea if there are any interactions or issues. Fragmentation in healthcare is a SERIOUS problem. See this LINK.

5. GoodRx destroys the professionalism of Pharmacy. Your pharmacist provides a professional service. We went to years of schooling to keep you safe and make sure your prescriptions are correct, safe, and appropriate for you. GoodRx turns it into a cheap circus show of carnival barking where the only thing that matters is a few bucks. 

6. GoodRx takes precious time away from the pharmacy. We’re already strapped for time and GoodRx only makes it worse. Imagine you’re shopping on Amazon. Further suppose Amazon required you to put in your credit card billing information not only for every time you made a purchase but also for every single separate item you purchased online? A little tedious? You bet! And that’s the best way to describe what’s happening when you use GoodRx. The result of all this time we spend on GoodRx billing reduces the time for filling medications— so we have to speed up to keep up! And that too is DANGEROUS! Are you really ok that we are pressed for time filling your child’s antibiotic medication so someone else can save a few bucks?

7. GoodRx has people so brainwashed they insist we try it even when we already know the price will be better on their insurance. People no longer believe us and make us go through the tedious nonsense just to prove it to them. 

8. GoodRx takes money away from the pharmacy that fills the prescription. Part of the “amazing” savings is just lopped off the reimbursement the pharmacy receives. And when pharmacies make less money they turn to cutting pharmacist and tech hours at slower stores. You may save a few bucks on a prescription but overall you’re hurting the lives of the very people filling your prescription. See LINK.

9. GoodRx has infiltrated physician offices and have doctors and their staff convinced they're doing a good thing for their patients when they’re not. Moreover, we at the pharmacy would never tell a patient what their doctor's office visit should cost them. Yet physicians consistently pass out GoodRx cards to patients. This is the utmost in disrespect. 

10. GoodRx changes prescription filling from being centered around healthcare to being all about cost. I literally have patients every day more concerned (and in some cases totally consumed) about whether their prescription was run on GoodRx instead of having any interest in learning how to take the medication and what to look for with side effects. This too is INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS! Saving money is nice, but knowing how to take your medication and what to watch out for is much more important, don't you think?

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Where is the Crazy RxMan?

I'm still here.

Life has been extremely crazy even for a guy who calls himself the Crazy RxMan.

My hours as staff pharmacist were cut to 32 a week. Upper management thinks that chopping several pharmacists' salaries by 20% is perfectly reasonable. It's not ok. We have kids. Some of mine are in college. And most of us still have school loans. I pay more each month in school loans than most Americans pay for their mortgage.

So yeah, I wasn't happy about the change.

But I was told I was the only one out of 200 stores in our division that complained.

Meanwhile some that were cut left the sinking ship to find other positions with other companies in a market where it's already hard to find a pharmacist job.

The rest of us scrambled around finding positions in the company with 40 hours a week. I was lucky and transferred to another staff pharmacist position with 40 hours.

And just when you thought I hated Snootyville, now it's even worse. This location is 50% busier than my last location with only 20% more tech help. My plea for more tech help was quickly beat down. I was told we have plenty of tech help. We're just inefficient.


The phones are ringing. People are waiting at both windows. I'm trying to reprocess someone's prescription on GoodRx (for an amazing $2.08 savings) while waiting on hold to get billing information for another patient who doesn't think it's her job to have her billing information with her. And yes, she's a Medicaid recipient. Another waiter has come up to the window while another patient is there at the window to tell me "You have several people in line now" (like I didn't know that). One of the callers is the corporate office asking me why I haven't done this week's MTM list. The other caller is someone wanting to know what "Refill: 0" means on their bottle.

But it's not a labor issue. It's an efficiency issue.

I hate my job. I hate the company. I hate the people who kept opening more and more pharmacy schools and flooded the market with hundreds of pharmacists who are willing to work for 20-30% less than we made just ten years ago.

As pharmacists we no longer have any control. One bad complaint and you're on a list. A few more check marks on the list and then you're canned and replaced by a new grad willing to work 60-70 hours a week and get paid for 40 hours at a rate less than what we were making ten years ago.

We used to be respected. We had professional jobs. We used to be the most trusted health care professional. 

Not anymore. All we are now are monkeys that work and work and work with no break and no lunch and make tons of money for GoodRx and the PBMs. 

This is the dark ages for pharmacy. We seriously need to band together and do something to save what's left of our careers. 

But it may be too late.