American health care is expensive , and disrupting the often-complicated system has been a mission of the tech sector for a while, building everything from wellness apps to startup insurance providers.
This wave of tech services also includes Blink Health , an app that offers users discounted prescription medications at guaranteed prices. The startup, which announced this week the opening of a new headquarters in New York City, currently has a network of over , customers, according to the company.
Blink is part of a group of startups offering discount medical services, showing increasing demand for comprehensive medication buying. Blink is the first and only e-commerce marketplace for prescription drugs. Historically, the only option patients had for reducing prescription prices were drug discount coupons, which require patients to print a coupon for a lower price. Blink is the only service that has the lowest price, backed by a price match guarantee serving every community in America.
And since Blink accepts the payment, unlike a coupon, the price you see is the price you pay. With Blink, patients purchase online and then can pick up at their local retailer or choose home delivery. As the demand for Blink continues to grow, so does our business.
Blink has gone through a tremendous amount of growth in , and we expect to continue rapidly expanding, which is why we just moved our headquarters to a much larger space in New York. Drug manufacturer coupons used by consumers to reduce the size of their prescription copayments are increasingly under fire by federal and state policy makers, as well as by insurers and pharmacy benefit managers PBMs.
Medicare and Medicaid consider them kickbacks and completely ban their use. Massachusetts has considered a similar move, and California recently outlawed coupons for branded drugs where a generic equivalent exists. Why the war on coupons?
Don't Overpay For Your Prescriptions
The simple argument is that they interfere with benefit structures designed to drive prescriptions towards generic medications with low costs. Critics contend that the coupons force insurers to cover more expensive brand drugs and cause overall costs to rise.
The counterpoint is also simple. But the truth is more complex, lying somewhere between these simple arguments. Using data collected from coupon aggregators and commercial insurance claims from , we find that these two sides represent extreme ends of the debate , overlooking key clinical and economic forces.
Statewide Rx Prescription Drug Assistance
Most importantly, the results of the analysis point to a need for more nuanced policy responses to ensure that patients who currently rely on coupons are not harmed. In , copayment coupons existed for fewer than brand name drugs. By , that number had grown to more than As of , 20 percent of brand prescriptions in commercial insurance plans were filled using some kind of copay assistance coupon.
Coupons are typically distributed through advertisements or by physicians. The patient presents the coupon to the pharmacist when filling a prescription, and the copayment is reduced or eliminated entirely at the point of sale. App users can just show the pharmacist the coupon from their device. Nearly all pharmacies in the U. Participating pharmacies are contractually obligated to accept GoodRx coupons.
Take a look at the prices I found when I searched GoodRx for day supplies of five popular generic medications:.
Generic Drugs Coupons Save 50% | Internet Drug Coupons
GoodRx is free to use, but there is a premium membership program that does have a monthly fee involved. If you have insurance, compare the GoodRx price to your insurance co-pay and see which is cheaper. You can always use GoodRx instead of your insurance.
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