Optum rolls out new tool that automatically offers members the lowest generic price

Optum Rx is launching a new tool that aims to make it easier to compare the direct-to-consumer price for generic drugs to the price with insurance.

Called Price Edge, the new tool is available to all of the pharmacy benefit manager's clients now for no additional cost, the company said in an announcement. The tool scans the prices that are available for a traditional generic drug and automatically surfaces the lowest available option to the member.

Optum said its pharmacy benefit offers the lowest price nearly 90% of the time, but if the direct-to-consumer price is lower, the PBM said it will apply that price instead.

“Providing people affordable access to prescription drugs is at the heart of everything we do, and Price Edge ensures our members get the best price and peace of mind that their medications count toward out-of-pocket spending,” said Jon Mahrt, chief operating officer and pharmacy benefits manager president at Optum Rx, in the press release.

“We will continue to empower clients and consumers with innovative solutions that simplify pharmacy benefits, make pricing more transparent and ensure cost savings are easily accessible," Mahrt added.

Optum said that transactions conducted through Price Edge will count toward the member's deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. Plan sponsors won't face additional administrative costs to roll out the tool, and it is available for free to members within their plan automatically.

In addition to helping members find the lowest cost for their generic medications, Price Edge is designed to maintain continuity with safety protocols and to protect against contraindications, or a condition in which taking a certain medication would harm the patient rather than help them.

Optum said Price Edge is the latest tool in its arsenal to improve members' and health professionals' experiences with the pharmacy. Other solutions include PreCheck MyScript, which offers providers real-time information on the patient's pharmacy benefits and formulary.