GoodRx is a mobile app and website that allows users to comparison shop for the best prices on a variety of medications.
Many consumers don’t realize that costs of medications can vary widely between different pharmacies.
GoodRx makes it easy for people to compare prices across several pharmacies in their area and provides coupons that can be used by patients with insurance or who have no insurance. Specific private insurance information is not included, but people may find the GoodRx coupon price is less than their copay.
GoodRx allows users to search for drugs by name or by condition. Users are not required to add any personal information to the app. However, creating a free login account and providing an email address gives the user access to price alerts and coupons for specific medications. Alerts and refill reminders can be turned on in the app Settings menu. There is also an option to add a 4-digit passcode or TouchID (in iPhone) to protect the user’s prescription information.
Once a drug is selected, a list of pharmacies with prices and approximate distance from the user’s location is provided.
Once the user chooses their preferred pharmacy, the discount card information is provided. This must be given to the pharmacist who can enter the information into the patient’s medication record.
Patients may save each drug to their profile and receive alerts on price changes or discounts. Additional app resources include medical news related to the drug, a limited drug information source, and a drug identification resource with pictures of the tablets. Drug information is written at a patient level and offers useful tips on medication use and what to do if a dose is missed. However, information on side effects the patient might experience is difficult to find as it’s in a section titled Interactions with Medications. Patients may assume this is the same as the section on Drug Interactions.
Also, some of the medications listed in the drug interactions section are not approved for use in the U.S. For example, balofloxacin is on the interaction list for Januvia but is only available in Korea. Also, supplements are listed under unusual names that might not be readily recognizable for patients. In the Januvia drug interactions section, tocophersolan and thioctic acid are on the list. Patients may not recognize these as vitamin E and lipoic acid derivatives.
Local out-of-pocket costs for Januvia varied from $421 at Walmart to $430 at Walgreens. The discount info in the app offers patients approximately 10% savings for this particular medication.
The discount card at Target for phenobarbital was discussed with the pharmacist on duty there who assured me the card is valid at their pharmacy. In that case, 90 tablets of phenobarbital 32.4 mg was $80 but the GoodRx discount lowered the cost to $18.
Patients that would benefit from the app
Most useful for patients with no insurance who are paying out-of-pocket for their prescriptions. Patients with private insurance or with high co-pays may find some discounts through the app. Also can be used in some cases for veterinary medications.
- Ease of use
- Multiple local pharmacies as well as mail order options given
- Drug lookup useful with brand or generic name or disease
- Price without the discount card offered through the app is not provided
- Drug info section makes adverse effects difficult to find with some confusing information on drug interactions
- Difficult to verify if costs are accurate or discounts work without going into each pharmacy
- Overall, a very useful tool for patients and prescribers to compare medication costs.
- Both Android and Apple versions available as well as a website for patients or prescribers without access to a mobile device.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Easy to use on the phone or iPad. Not able to verify pricing info without calling or going to the pharmacy.
- Multimedia Usage
Integrates with device mapping software to assist in locating the pharmacies
- Real World Applicability
Great for price comparisons for cash, though doesn’t offer co-pay pricing due to variability of insurance. It would be nice to have a range of actual cash prices to compare to the discount prices.
- Device Used For Review