Health

Unbiased pharmacists sound the alarm on Surescripts, GoodRx partnership



Some pharmacists are pushing again on Surescripts’ partnership with GoodRx, arguing the deal will damage impartial pharmacies and additional obscure the excessive value of medication.

“The deal was touted as a transfer in the direction of transparency; when actually, coupon packages are purchased and paid for by the identical PBM [pharmacy benefit manager]-based, opaque pricing schema the deal claims to upend,” wrote a gaggle of pharmacists and pharmacy homeowners in a letter to Surescripts’ board obtained by MedCity Information.

The partnership between the well being knowledge large and GoodRx, introduced earlier this month, would combine GoodRx’s low cost data into Surescripts’ platform that enables prescribing physicians to see the drug’s value for his or her sufferers. GoodRx’s negotiated reductions would solely seem for the uninsured or sufferers whose value data isn’t already out there from their PBM or insurer, the businesses stated.

“We’re at all times in search of methods to extend prescription value transparency and affordability for extra People, so we’re excited to work with Surescripts to arm prescribers with the instruments and data they want to decide on drugs which might be each accessible and clinically applicable,” Doug Hirsch, co-CEO and co-founder of GoodRx, stated in an announcement when the deal was introduced.

Of their letter, the pharmacists stated GoodRx solely shows costs for his or her pharmacy companions, which would go away out impartial pharmacies. The pharmacists additionally argued the drug coupon app’s enterprise mannequin works inside a system that obscures the excessive value of medication.

“If coupons didn’t exist, we might encourage additional innovation round pricing and pricing reform,” they wrote. “In a coupon-free world, market forces would drive the pharmacy charging $268 for rosuvastatin (which prices $0.03/capsule) right down to an inexpensive quantity or undergo extinction.”

WHY IT MATTERS

Drug prices have change into an enormous coverage subject within the U.S. Between 2019 and 2020, retail costs for 260 extensively used model title pharmaceuticals rose by 2.9%, greater than two occasions sooner than inflation, in line with a report by the AARP.

A Kaiser Household Basis evaluation printed in July discovered practically 3 million Medicare Half D enrollees had out-of-pocket drug spending above the catastrophic degree between 2015 and 2019.

Earlier this month, the White Home referred to as on Congress to cut back drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries by permitting Medicare to barter with drugmakers, limiting value will increase to inflation and capping beneficiaries’ yearly out-of-pocket spending to round $3,000.

“And by the way in which, it isn’t simply seniors who will profit. This might decrease prescription drug costs for all People,” stated President Joe Biden in a press briefing. “And right here’s how: If Medicare costs can be found to personal insurance coverage corporations, then it will cut back the price of employer-based medical insurance protection.”

THE LARGER TREND

GoodRx, based in 2011, filed paperwork to go public a couple of yr in the past. 

In March, GoodRx introduced its first full-year earnings since turning into a publicly traded firm. It introduced in $550.7 million in income in 2020, a 42% enhance from the yr earlier than. The corporate did lose $298.3 million in GAAP internet revenue in This autumn alone and $293.6 million for FY2020, which GoodRx attributed to bills associated to its IPO.

For this yr’s Q1, GoodRx reported first-quarter income development of 20% year-over-year to $160.4 million, solely barely lacking expectations. 

The corporate has additionally been choosing up acquisitions, together with prescription value transparency firm RxSaver in Could and well being training video producer HealthiNation in April.



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