Friday, July 08, 2022

GoodRx Pharma Manufacturer Solutions: Partnering for Patient Access and Affordability

Today’s guest post comes from Akeel Williams, VP of Strategy and Operations, Pharma Manufacturer Solutions at GoodRx

Akeel provides an overview of GoodRx’s Pharma Manufacturer Solutions business. He describes how GoodRx leverages its consumer reach to help biopharma companies boost awareness and utilization of manufacturers’ copay assistance programs.

Click here to learn more about GoodRx’s patient awareness, access, and adherence solutions.

Read on for Akeel’s insights.

GoodRx Pharma Manufacturer Solutions: Partnering for Patient Access and Affordability
By Akeel Williams, VP, Strategy and Operations, Pharma Manufacturer Solutions, GoodRx

Consumers know GoodRx from its prescription savings app, TV ads, and counter promotions at local retail pharmacies and doctors’ offices. Healthcare providers know GoodRx as a helpful health information resource during patient visits and as an easy way for many of their patients to save money on medications that may otherwise be out of reach.

GoodRx was founded in 2011 to help Americans get the healthcare they need at prices they can afford. Today over 70,000 U.S. pharmacies accept GoodRx. The company built its brand, reputation, and customer loyalty over the last decade, along with an information and services platform that reaches its healthcare audience at unparalleled scale, serving the needs of almost 20 million patients per month and more than 750,000 healthcare providers since June 2021.

However, pharma copay assistance and patient support programs, independent drug assistance programs, and foundations, still need to address significant patient access and affordability issues. The pandemic, economy, health disparities, and other factors have made these solutions even more necessary. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study found that “about three in ten adults report not taking their medicines as prescribed at some point in the past year because of the cost. This includes about one in six (16%) who report they have not filled a prescription, about one in five (22%), who took an over-the counter drug instead, and 13% who say they have cut pills in half or skipped a dose.”

In a different era, former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Coop famously quipped that, “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.” GoodRx research shows that only about 45% of people are able to afford and pay for branded prescriptions, often due to high or unexpected out-of-pocket costs.

With GoodRx, that percentage increases significantly, to just under 70%. “There is a real patient affordability crisis now in the U.S.,” said Aaron Crittenden, general manager of Pharma Manufacturer Solutions at GoodRx. “This crisis is the result of a confluence of changes in societal, financial, and other factors like health insurance that may force people to choose between healthcare and other daily expenses for themselves and their families. These factors cause lapses in access to quality care, including life-saving medicines, and the downstream effects can include greatly reduced health outcomes.”

Many consumers and healthcare providers know about and trust GoodRx. Starting a a few years ago, biopharmaceutical companies started to see GoodRx as a partner. In fact, 20% of the searches on are for branded medications. That's more than 48 million brand searches annually. In addition to delivering savings on generic medicines, GoodRx also delivers consistent savings and resources for patients taking branded and even specialty medications.

In 2019, GoodRx created its Pharma Manufacturer Solutions business. We partner with biopharmaceutical companies to improve patient access and affordability of prescription medications, particularly prescriptions with the highest patient out-of-pocket costs (see Table 1). Pharma Manufacturer Solutions seeks to be the leading healthcare platform enabling manufacturers to support providers and patients along their journeys toward improved health.

Table 1: Example of GoodRx-Pharma partnerships that significantly improve patient affordability.

[Click to Enlarge]

To help patients afford their prescriptions, many pharma companies offer generous copay assistance to eligible patients on certain medications. A 2021 survey showed that pharma companies spend over five billion dollars annually on copay assistance and support programs in the U.S.

Unfortunately, only 3% of patients actually use these programs. Copay assistance programs may be familiar to those who work in biopharma and other areas of healthcare. But patients who have been prescribed the medications but have difficulty affording them are not always aware of these programs.

For example, GoodRx partners with biopharma companies to boost awareness and utilization of manufacturers’ copay assistance programs. Through this increased awareness, we have helped over 25,000 additional patients obtain copay support by accessing existing programs for branded medications. More broadly, the integration of manufacturers’ copay cards into the GoodRx platform often becomes the primary source for copay signups. The average redemption rate of these downloaded copay cards is a healthy 41%.

Our scale is a big reason for this success. Last year, we saw ten times more traffic to the branded drug price pages on than for similar copay program content on the top 100 biopharma websites. We’ve also learned that in addition to increasing awareness, it’s important to reduce enrollment friction and increase eligibility transparency to ensure patients understand if they qualify.

With our pharma partners, GoodRx supports the patient journey with solutions beyond affordability, increasing awareness, broadening access, and improving adherence. Click here to learn more about GoodRx Pharma Manufacturer Solutions.

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