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GoodRx CEO on re-engaging consumers post COVID-19

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GoodRx CEO Doug Hirsch joins Yahoo Finance to discuss the company’s fourth quarter earnings report and outlook.

Video Transcript

[ELECTRONIC SCROLLING]

AKIKO FUJITA: Shares of GoodRx getting hit in the session, down nearly 9% there. The company reported revenue of $153 million in the quarter. That is a 36% increase year on year, largely driven by higher prescription transactions. Net loss, though accelerated at $293 million after posting a net income in the same period the previous year.

Let's bring in Doug Hirsch, who's the co-CEO of GoodRx. We've also got Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani joining in on the conversation. Doug, it's always good to talk to you. It feels-- or it seems like investors are a bit concerned about the guidance the company put out. But you're still talking about a 20% revenue growth, at least in the current quarter. What do you think investors are getting wrong?

DOUG HIRSCH: You know, honestly, I could not be more proud of our performance in 2020. We had records across the board, record subscribers, over 800,000 subscribers to GoodRx. Over 18 million people visited GoodRx in January alone, record revenue, record monthly active consumers. You know, we did have in Q1, obviously, flu, which tends to-- obviously it's great that we had a small flu season, but that impacted our business a little bit.

And obviously we had a COVID surge, but those are temporary, one-time things. And we remain really excited about the reopening of the American economy and the reopening of health care, as I believe there's over, like, a billion undiagnosed conditions that are waiting out there for consumers to go back to the doctor and having taken care of. And we expect to play a role there.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Doug, good to speak with you again. I want to know about the move forward. In looking at what the lay of the land is going to be like after the pandemic, we know that, you know, different habits have formed as a result of it when we're looking at how people engage with their health care. And a lot of people continue to be concerned about the ability for you to grow in a space where, A, you still see the reversal back to a focus on drug pricing and how that might affect your business, and then also the threat of Amazon getting into the same space. What do you have to say about all that?

DOUG HIRSCH: Yeah, I mean, look, I think never have we had a more engaged population in America than now, right? People are reading clinical trials, and everybody has to go to a pharmacy and a doctor's office over the course of the next year. In the meantime, we have incredible innovations in terms of telehealth and advances in mail order and advances in patient monitoring and things like that. So I just feel like we have this tremendous opportunity in 2021 to re-engage consumers with a better way to consume health care.

Also, so many consumers have lost their jobs or had some disruption or a financial hardship. And so these are all the recipes that make GoodRx exist. These are the reasons why we are here, to help people who have an issue and often are unable to simply afford basic care. So honestly, I am super, super excited about 2021 and about this opportunity to re-engage with consumers as they once again take care of their basic health needs and try to solve the crisis that's underneath COVID.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: I know that the last time you and I talked, we were talking about vaccines and the efforts you're making in that space for vaccine appointments because you're able to contact some of the lower income population and underserved populations, since they're your customer base. Give us an update on that. How's that going?

DOUG HIRSCH: It's going amazing. So a few months ago, I realized that, hey, there was going to be a huge shortage of vaccine appointments, and people were going to look for places to go. And it's just so confusing, and there was no federal leadership at the time. And so we basically built what I would argue is the best-in-class and most popular vaccine finding tool.

To date, we have over 1.2 million people that have basically given us their phone number so that we can tell them when there's availability in their area. We're partnering with the CDC. We're partnering with the White House. And basically we're providing information about pharmacies near you, hospitals, locations, inventory, and appointment data so the consumers can get a shot as quickly as possible and we can all get back to normal.

ZACK GUZMAN: Hey, Doug. Zack here. Good to be chatting with you again. One of the questions I had-- I guess two-- was, one, the piece of this bill that's kind of getting overlooked right now is a boost to Obamacare and relief there on the premium side, how that might impact the business in the short term.

And then longer term, looking out, I wonder, what kind of acquisitions might boost GoodRx? There's a bunch of other interesting tech products in the health care space, and I think about paring what you guys offer with some of those, maybe a Zocdoc, how you maybe see leveraging what GoodRx is doing now, one year, two years down the line with interesting pieces of the sector right now.

DOUG HIRSCH: Sure, sure. I mean, I certainly think the stimulus will be positive for Americans. It's more money in their pocketbooks, so all those prescriptions and care they couldn't afford, they'll be able to re-engage. And we see it in our data. We see when people have more money in their pocket, they're able to afford the care that they need. So that's wonderful and amazing.

On the policy side, you know, look, GoodRx has been around for over a decade now. We were here before Obamacare, after Obamacare, after Trump's attempts to repeal. Honestly, the reality is is that the burden on consumers just continues to go up. And, you know, 3/4 of the people that use GoodRx have insurance and yet still are finding it hard to afford their care. So we don't see that as a huge issue.

On the M&A side, honestly we continue to look at great opportunities that will fill in the gaps. There just-- there remain massive gaps. Again, when COVID recedes, we're going to remember that we have a broken health care system, right? That it simply costs too much for Americans to get care. We're the number 11, I think, OECD country in terms of, you know, overall quality of our health care system. So we see lots of opportunity to continue to improve on convenience and affordability.

You're seeing a lot of momentum on our side in terms of reengaging people that already use GoodRx. So again, I'm really excited, and we will continue to look at M&A opportunities that are-- you know, help us help Americans stay healthy.

AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, Doug, many would argue that the pandemic has actually exposed many of those cracks in the system. So it'll be interesting to see how GoodRx expands from that. It's always good to have you on the show. We appreciate your time today. Doug Hirsch, the co-CEO of GoodRx, and our thanks to Anjalee Khemlani as well.