The rising use of prescription drug discount cards is reportedly leading to significant implications for pharmacy chains.
These discount cards, such as those offered by GoodRx, are negatively impacting the margins of retail pharmacies, Bank of America analyst Allen Lutz said, according to a Tuesday (Sept. 19) report by Seeking Alpha.
This shift in consumer behavior has resulted in pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) benefiting at the expense of traditional pharmacies, according to the report.
GoodRx, a prominent player in the prescription drug discount card market, has formed partnerships with several PBMs, including CVS Health‘s Caremark and MedImpact, Lutz said, per the report. These collaborations have the potential to further accelerate the decline of high-margin cash-pay prescriptions for pharmacies.
CVS Health, with its Caremark PBM, is better positioned to navigate this changing landscape compared to Walgreens Boots Alliance, because CVS can capture fees related to these new agreements, while Walgreens cannot, according to the report.
GoodRx and MedImpact announced their partnership Wednesday (Sept. 13), saying they will deliver lower prices on prescriptions at the pharmacy counter.
Under the new savings solution created by this collaboration, eligible MedImpact members filling a prescription for a generic medication will have their benefits compared to GoodRx’s prices. The lowest price will be automatically applied to the member’s deductible, eliminating the need for individuals to compare costs themselves.
Two months earlier, in July, GoodRx and CVS Caremark announced that they were launching a program to help members pay lower out-of-pocket prices on generic medication at the pharmacy counter.
The new Caremark Cost Saver program offers automatic access to GoodRx’s prescription pricing for CVS Caremark’s eligible members while continuing CVS Caremark’s drug safety review.
GoodRx is focusing on building relationships with retail pharmacies and finding new ways to help them manage their pricing margins and growth targets, GoodRx Interim CEO Scott Wagner said on Aug. 9 during the company’s quarterly earnings call.
“We’re in the process of working through these contracts retailer by retailer and plan to continue to do so throughout the second half of the year,” Wagner said at the time. “We believe that we’re creating the foundation for long-term growth for GoodRx that adds value to both retailers and PBM partners alike.”