Drug discount app GoodRx is expanding into health content to provide answers to the most Googled questions about personal health.
The company launched GoodRx Health as an online health resource that provides research-based, accessible health information on common health topics like diabetes and heart disease, according to GoodRx executives.
GoodRx offers an app that tracks prescription drug prices and offers coupons to get medication discounts. The company expanded its services to provide a telehealth platform, called GoodRx Care, that enables consumers to see a licensed physician for primary care services.
With the content service, GoodRx is expanding beyond being just a price comparison tool for prescription drugs and builds on the company's existing editorial content.
Almost 20 million people visit GoodRx every month and the company publishes content on topics from erectile dysfunction to COVID-19 vaccines. GoodRx Health expands on this to provide answers on topics such as health insurance to women’s health, and weight loss to mental health, acccording to executives.
About 20% of all queries on Google are health-related queries, which points to a massive consumer need for health information, Thomas Goetz, chief of research and communications at GoodRx told Fierce Healthcare.
Goetz, a former executive editor of Wired, sees the new health information site as a cross between NerdWallet and Wirecutter for healthcare.
"There is a particular world where healthcare and personal finance overlap that we feel is really underserved. We want to be that place where people can come to ask questions and get good answers," he said. "We’re building something different, and something very actionable and more useful for people."
The aim is to help consumers be more empowered and informed to make decisions about their health, he said.
Goetz hired a 50-person research and editorial team consisting of journalists, doctors and pharmacists to help build out content on the site. Along with Goetz, the team consists of Amy O’Connor, former editor in chief of Health.com and editorial director of Everyday Health and Stacy Lawrence, former editor in chief of Fierce Biotech. Medical professionals on the research and editorial team include Preeti Parikh, M.D., a board-certified pediatrician and assistant clinical professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Sharon Orrange, M.D., a primary care doctor and professor at the University of Southern California and Alyssa Billingsley, PharmD, a licensed pharmacist and expert in patient education and health information.
The team also includes veterans from The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and NerdWallet, according to the company.
In April, GoodRx acquired health video company HealthiNation for $75 million and that health video content will be integrated into the GoodRx Health site.
"With GoodRx Health, we can connect the millions of people who already come to our site with the credible and helpful information they seek about medications, health conditions and healthcare costs," said Doug Hirsch, co-CEO and co-founder of GoodRx in a statement.
GoodRx Health’s content focuses on four main areas: medical research and scientific literature to address common health questions with information reviewed by physicians and pharmacists; financial guidance; drug FAQs and original research around drug prices, fill trends and the U.S. healthcare system.
The site offers content is different formats such as "health debunked," which are reports that examine the latest health fads and trends and "video explainers" that explain complicated health topics.
The looming threat from Amazon
Amazon's pharmacy business puts pressure on other players in the market. Amazon's service offers prime members unlimited, free two-day delivery for medications and prescription savings benefits.
Amazon bought PillPack in 2018, launched Amazon Pharmacy last year and recently added new drug price comparison tools.
GoodRx executives have downplayed the online retail giant's entrance into the market.
"In our entire history, no competitor has had a material impact on our growth trajectory," GoodRx co-founder and co-CEO Trevor Bezdek said during the company's second-quarter earnings call in August.
"Companies have tried to copy our model or try different models, but none have been able to impact our business. Amazon has been trying to grow its pharmacy delivery business. We believe they have not been successful. Mail-order prescriptions only make up about 5% of fill count in the U.S. even through COVID, mails remained a small piece of overall volume and is now starting to decrease as COVID eases," Bezdek said.
GoodRx brought in second-quarter revenue of $177 million, up 43% from $123 million during the same period a year ago.
The company closed the second quarter with a user base of more than 7.5 million that includes both its monthly active users and subscribers. It had closed the March quarter at over 7 million.
Prescription transactions revenue grew 32% year over year to $145 million from $109 million the year prior.
The company believes GoodRx Health provides potential growth opportunities for its pharma manufacturer solutions business. With GoodRx Health, the company is offering a platform where manufacturers can reach large, high-intent audiences contextually relevant to their drugs. This creates opportunities for GoodRx to capture more of the $30 billion total addressable market each year, Goetz said.