GoodRx, CVS join forces to lower customers' out-of-pocket prescription drug costs

GoodRx (GDRX) announced another big pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) partner Wednesday — CVS's (CVS) Caremark — potentially lowering out-of-pocket costs for a huge swath of consumers.

The duo is launching a new product, Caremark Cost Saver, that is an automatic offering to help commercially insured customers save on generic drugs at all eligible pharmacies. The new plan goes into effect in January 2024, giving ample time for plan sponsors and employers to opt in.

CVS Caremark is a part of the CVS Health company but is separate from the retail pharmacy chain.

GoodRx co-founder Doug Hirsch told Yahoo Finance the new relationship gives the company access to 70% of those commercially insured, adding to last year's similar partnership with Cigna's (CI) ExpressScripts.

GoodRx currently receives about 200 billion price points per day with its wide variety of PBM and pharmacy relationships.

"Everyone likes to think we're like [only serving] low-income people who are just cash pay. The reality is 75% of people who come to GoodRx have insurance," Hirsch said.

"And we're also looking to get into the Medicare market...and there's more complexity there," Hirsch added, noting it would add yet another large portion of the American population to the database for the company.

The growth in business — and the plug-in from bigger PBMs — means the company significantly increases its bottom line. GoodRx makes money from a fee for every prescription filled originating from its discounted price, in addition to its limited telehealth offerings.

A shopper looks for deals on GoodRx
A shopper looks for deals on GoodRx

But Hirsch said it's a win-win for both consumers and PBMs alike.

"When [customers] show up at the pharmacy counter, they don't have to do anything. They present their insurance like they normally do, they get a great price, and it counts toward their deductible," he said.

The price paid at the counter counts toward the deductible or out-of-pocket obligations, according to a statement from CVS and GoodRx.

"We work every day to provide a more affordable drug benefit for our CVS Caremark clients and their plan members, and this collaborative prescription discount solution enables us to dynamically shop for the best price on their behalf," said David Joyner, executive vice president at CVS Health and president of CVS Caremark, in a statement.

"By lowering out-of-pocket costs for our clients’ members, Caremark Cost Saver will help patients afford to take their medicine as directed," Joyner said.

Follow Anjalee Khemlani on Twitter @AnjKhem

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