GoodRx acquires telemedicine company HeyDoctor to add virtual healthcare services

GoodRx launched in 2011 as a prescription savings website and mobile app offering cost-comparison tools and medication discounts. The company is now expanding into healthcare services with the acquisition of telemedicine company HeyDoctor.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. GoodRx was valued at $2.8 billion in August 2018 after the private equity firm Silver Lake Management LLC took a major stake, according to Bloomberg.

With the acquisition, the Santa Monica, California-based company has rebranded the telemedicine service as GoodRx Care. Patients can receive an online medical visit with a board-certified medical professional to get treatment, prescriptions and lab tests for routine medical issues, the company said. Online consultations start at $20, and the company offers virtual visits for 18 conditions including birth control, smoking cessation, urinary tract infections, HIV testing, hepatitis C screening and naloxone for opioid overdose.

Since its launch in 2017, HeyDoctor has had over 100,000 consultations, according to the companies.

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With the addition of telemedicine services, GoodRx now competes with other startups that combine virtual care and pharmacy services such as Hims, Hers, Ro and Nurx. Prescription drug discount company Blink Health also recently rolled out a telemedicine service for online birth control prescriptions and medication delivery.

While those companies offer drug delivery, GoodRx doesn’t sell medications; it instead directs consumers to the drugstore with the best prices and offers coupons.

“Over the years, we’ve helped millions of Americans find affordable solutions for their prescription medications, but we’ve also learned that many people struggle to get to the doctor,” Doug Hirsch, co-CEO and co-founder of GoodRx, said in a statement. “GoodRx Care aims to help fill in the gaps in care to improve access, adherence, and affordability of medical care for all Americans.”

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The virtual care service comes at a time when Americans find that getting access to primary care physicians to be increasingly difficult. For those with insurance, the average wait time to see a doctor is 24 days and growing, according to a Merritt Hawkins report (PDF).

The U.S. is expected to see a shortage of as many as 120,000 physicians by 2032, with a shortage of up to 55,000 primary care physicians. Compounding the problem, the number of uninsured Americans increased from 27.5 million in 2016 to 28.9 million in 2018, according to the Congressional Budget Office. 

"In an increasingly fragmented and confusing healthcare system, our goal is to provide a one-stop-shop for services that address most basic healthcare needs," Hirsch said.

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The company says more than 10 million consumers use its website each month to find current prices and discounts for their medications. Since 2011, consumers with and without health insurance have saved more than $14 billion using GoodRx—more than $5 billion in 2019 alone, according to the company.

GoodRx is part of an expanding list of companies disrupting healthcare by replacing in-person physician and pharmacy visits with online services and prescription drug delivery. Tech giant Amazon is piloting a new virtual health service benefit for employees and their families in the Seattle region. Called Amazon Care, the service will offer virtual visits, in-person primary care visits at patients' homes or offices and prescription delivery, the company said.

Amazon also acquired online pharmacy PillPack in 2018.