GoodRx launches provider-facing tool to bring drug savings, specialty drug enrollment to the exam room

GoodRx has expanded the reach of its drug cost search tool beyond patient-facing support with a new tool tailored to healthcare providers.

The platform, called Provider Mode, is designed to allow healthcare providers and office staff to review medicine cost information during appointments.

During patient encounters, physicians, nurse practitioners and front desk staff can input location, dosing and quantity information to be connected with the local stores showing the lowest cost. Staff can access coupons to share with patients and articles addressing important medication information.

GoodRx also announced a collaboration with Biogen to allow online enrollment for its specialty drug Vumerity through the platform.

“We worked with focus groups in different specialties; the worst thing to do is to come out with a product and not talk to the people who use it,” said Preeti Parikh, M.D., executive medical director at GoodRx, in an interview. “Although we had people in-house, we were a big believer in also integrating and talking to the providers and focus groups to make sure they would use it and how we can make it better for their day-to-day workflow. So, with that, we created this provider mode, which is a more streamlined, personalized experience with features that are specific for providers to help them get the information they need to get the cost down for their patients.”

Medication pages pulled up at the point of care also offer comparisons for other drugs in the same class, home delivery options and the most frequently searched drugs. The American Medical Association estimates that the average provider spends 15 hours a week searching for the right medication for their patient.

In the coming months, GoodRx plans to add insurance coverage information to the cost-estimation tool. Executives also hope that by streamlining enrollment forms for multiple sclerosis drug Vumerity, other specialty drug companies will take note. Currently, many specialty drugs require arduous, paper-based enrollment, according to executives.

Future partnerships with pharmaceutical companies are also planned to join existing patient savings programs accessed through the platform, dubbed AssistRx. Discount programs along with coupons can be emailed or texted directly to patients through third-party contacts to ensure provider privacy.

“You can find out if there's any patient savings programs or other options out there, which providers need to know about and the consumer should be aware of; there is very low awareness about it,” Parikh said. “And then for the provider, there's just no bandwidth. There's no time for them to consistently, with every new brand drug, go to the manufacturers to see what they're updating, what patient savings programs exist, what different price savings options there are. So this brings it directly to our platform. Everything is in one place."

Later platform iterations will offer a feature only accessed with prescriber numbers, RxVantage. Prescribers will be able to connect directly with pharma representatives through RxVantage to inquire about new therapies and patient assistant programs.

Patient abandonment of prescriptions at the pharmacy is estimated to be 69% when cost sharing is more than $250. It's estimated that only 11% of patients abandon prescriptions when the cost is less than $30, according to a 2018 study.

According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Managed Care, the high cost of drugs continues to play a major role in prescription abandonment at the pharmacy. Medication non-adherence and poor medication management cost the U.S. healthcare system roughly $528 billion annually.

“What we want to do is actually have this conversation in the room itself before they actually get to the pharmacy, and not to deal with it once they're there,” Parikh said. “And we found that 20% to 30% of prescriptions are left unfilled at the pharmacy because of this issue. We have 850,000 providers that actually use the platform, so we wanted to find a way to actually incorporate it and integrate it into the providers' workflow.”

Provider Mode may provide an opportunity for needed growth after GoodRx recently approved layoffs of 16% of its workforce, totaling 140 employees. The loss will primarily take place within its tech and marketing segments, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lean times came in the second quarter of this year with the company posting $1.4 million in losses. Overall, revenue was still up 9% annually with reported overall pharma manufacturer solutions revenue up 103% year over year.

Since it started rolling out last December, the GoodRx for Providers solution has boasted an almost 90% opt-in rate, pointing to a waiting market for Provider Mode. The new platform will provide a venue for pharma manufacturing solutions advertisements, a key source of revenue for GoodRx, executives said.