Discount prescription drug platform GoodRx unveiled its Q4 2020 earnings results: It reported $153.5 million in revenues during Q4 2020, marking a 36% jump from Q4 2019—and its membership swelled from 4.3 million users in Q4 2019 to 5.6 million users in Q4 2020, representing a 32% year over year (YoY) increase. Further, GoodRx noted revenues from prescription transactions climbed 26% YoY to $131.3 million in Q4 2020.
GoodRx’s 2020 revenue growth comes on the back of rising drug prices and increasing confusion surrounding health insurance, which are driving US consumers to become smarter care shoppers.
In the first week of January 2021 alone, the cost of 582 branded and generic drugs jumped an average of 4.2%. For context, drug manufacturers typically raise the prices of drugs in January and July—and it appears this year will “be no different,” per GoodRx, despite the pandemic’s lasting effects on consumer spending. Healthcare consumers are getting ahead of rising drug costs by turning to prescription cost apps to compare price tags: Over 43% of patients report using a price comparison tool like GoodRx to find the most affordable medication.
Many patients say it’s difficult to determine out-of-pocket costs despite their access to employer-sponsored insurance. Over 75% of adults with employer-sponsored coverage indicated feeling “completely lost” when trying to figure out how much their health insurance covers, per 2021 Bend Financial data—which is likely contributing to the mounting adoption of prescription price transparency tools. And health consumers will likely continue riding the upfront pricing wave in 2021 to address their top pain points: 25% of patients indicated out-of-pocket price estimation was the worst part of their healthcare experience.
Some doctors already use price comparison tools to help patients find affordable meds—and more clinicians will likely adopt these platforms this year to mitigate adverse health outcomes from delayed care in 2020.
In February, over 53% of patients said they’ve avoided filling a prescription due to uncertainty about costs. And 59% have avoided doctors’ visits altogether during the pandemic to dodge surprise medical bills. Patients’ failure to keep up with their prescriptions and routine doctor visits is bad news for clinicians: Poor medication adherence can exacerbate chronic conditions, leading to worsened health outcomes in the long run.
Price comparison tech developers like GoodRx and Blink Health could catch the attention of more doctors with the promise of increasing medication adherence among their patient bases. Using a price comparison tool can help physicians pinpoint the most affordable prescription for their patients before leaving a doctor's visit, which should boost patient satisfaction while encouraging patients to actually pick up their meds on time—and in turn, improve health outcomes for the long haul. In fact, 19% of patients were more adherent to purchasing their medications when providers used a price comparison tool, per October 2020 CoverMyMeds data.