GoodRx launches telehealth service, free mail delivery as direct-to-consumer market heats up

smartphone screens showing the GoodRx prescription discount app
GoodRx rolled out a new program that will give GoodRx subscription holders discounts on virtual doctor's visits and free mail delivery via the GoodRx app. (GoodRx)

GoodRx, an online platform that offers coupons for discounts on prescription drugs, is expanding its telehealth services and offering free mail-order pharmacy delivery under its GoodRx Gold subscription service.

A new program will give GoodRx subscription holders discounts on virtual doctor's visits and free mail delivery via the GoodRx app, the company announced Wednesday.

Subscription holders can see a licensed healthcare provider to receive treatment at home with telehealth visits starting at $10 and can be seen for over 150 conditions, including cold and flu, UTI, cold sores, acne, birth control, COVID-19 screenings, and refills for common medications, GoodRx said.

If the patient is prescribed medication, they can use a GoodRx Gold discount of up to 90% at pharmacies near them or have it sent directly to their house via free mail delivery. Eligible drugs have a Gold mail delivery sticker on the drug’s price page. The program also enables members to transfer their prescriptions in-app from a brick-and-mortar pharmacy to the mail order service, which is run by Truepill.

RELATED: Amazon ramps up healthcare competition with launch of online pharmacy, prescription savings benefit

The company started in 2011 with a price comparison tool for prescriptions, offering consumers free access to lower prices on their medication. With the acquisition of telemedicine company HeyDoctor in September 2019, GoodRx expanded its services to include virtual care.

The company launched the subscription service in 2018 and it costs $5.99 for one person and $9.99 for a family. GoodRx Gold is available in 49 states, excluding Washington state.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns around accessing in-person care have driven many consumers to try telehealth. While only around 10% of consumers had used telehealth as of 2019, more than 75% of consumers now report being interested in using telehealth, according to a recent McKinsey consumer survey.
 
“Our mission at GoodRx has always been to get Americans the healthcare they need at a price they can afford,” said GoodRx co-CEO and co-founder Doug Hirsch. “Over the past year, we have launched several new services - HeyDoctor by GoodRx and telehealth & labs marketplaces - which make accessing care easier and more affordable for consumers. With these improvements to GoodRx Gold, we are expanding access to even more people and delivering deeper savings than are available anywhere else on the market.”

Through its subscription service, GoodRx offers more than 1,000 common, low-priced medications via mail delivery, with nearly 300 of them priced under $10, the company said.

The direct-to-consumer healthcare market has been heating up as digital health companies look to offer more services to patients at home. 

RELATED: GoodRx raises $1.1B in IPO as it sell shares above target

Online retail behemoth Amazon ramped up the healthcare competition with the rollout of the new Amazon Pharmacy in November. Amazon's service offers prime members unlimited, free two-day delivery for medications and prescription savings benefits.

GoodRx's stock fell in the weeks after Amazon announced the new pharmacy business, according to Barrons and other media outlets. The company went public in September, raising $1.1 billion in its initial public offering after pricing its deal well above its expected price range.

The fear is that online mail-order drug deliveries will hurt GoodRx’s prescription discount business. As a result, GoodRx stock tumbled 23% in the last month, Investor Place reported on Dec. 10.

It's an increasingly competitive landscape. UnitedHealth Group stepped into the online pharmacy space with the acquisition of startup DivvyDose earlier this year. Walmart also previously snapped up medication management technology from startup CareZone. Digital pharmacies making waves in the space include NowRx, Capsule, Medly Pharmacy and Alto Pharmacy.

Hirsch told FOX Business in November that he is not concerned about Amazon entering the pharmacy business.

"GoodRx actually is not a pharmacy. We don't put pills in bottles and sell them. We work with pharmacies including Amazon," Hirsch said on The Claman Countdown. "So we're very happy that Amazon's in the space."