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Telehealth is here to stay: GoodRx Co-CEO

Doug Hirsch GoodRx Co-CEO joins Yahoo Finance’s Anjalee Khemlani and the Yahoo Finance live panel to discuss GoodRX and the future of telemedicine.

Video Transcript

- Welcome back to "Yahoo Finance Live". Shares of GoodRx under pressure right now, down about 5%, after the company reported their first quarterly earnings since going public. They did beat on the top and bottom line, now, revenue coming in at $140.4 million. That is a growth of 38% year-on-year.

Let's bring in the CEO of GoodRx, Doug Hirsch. Our very own Anjalee Khemlani also joining in on the conversation. Doug, I know CEOs always say they don't watch the share moves, and they're not watching it. But it is under pressure about 5% right now. I'm just curious why you think investors are interpreting these numbers in a more negative way.

DOUG HIRSCH: I mean it when I say I really don't spend my days looking at the day-to-day stock price. I think I would go crazy if I did. I do focus on long-term shareholder value, and most importantly, also trying to solve this health care crisis that we have in this country. But yeah, I don't have a lot of comment on intraday stock moves.

- So Doug, following up on that, let's get through the numbers, then. I mean, when you look at the first quarter since going public, where is the key growth story for the company right now?

DOUG HIRSCH: Honestly, across all fronts, you know? Amidst the tragedy of the Coronavirus pandemic, it has activated consumers, right? I mean, consumers could not go to the doctor. They could not go to the pharmacy, and so they were looking for alternatives. And we had the good fortune of rolling out products that directly attacked those issues, like telehealth and home delivery of prescriptions.

We solidified our partnership with Kroger, the nation's largest grocer, where we extended that relationship. I mean, we're really seeing growth across the board, and now we're investing hard to try to capitalize it so that we can actually provide more solutions to consumers who still need it. We're all still living with this pandemic, and we want to be able to help people who've had disruptions to make sure that they can continue to get care.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Doug, I wonder about-- just looking at the pandemic, I know there was a mention on the call earlier about GoodRx playing a role when it comes to the vaccines. What does that look like right now? What do you anticipate could be the role that GoodRx can play?

DOUG HIRSCH: We're in the information business, right? We provide information about pricing. We provide information about efficacy of drugs. And we've been doing this for a long time.

We have about 15 million more than-- almost 15 million people come to GoodRx every month for information. And so we can really help guide people. So when the pandemic first began, we offered information about COVID testing centers. We actually offered COVID assessments through our HeyDoctor subsidiary.

And now, as-- who knows what's going to happen with the vaccines? But we're on top of it. We're-- we have doctors, and pharmacists, and MPHs writing content.

Just an example of how we've worked in other categories. With flu vaccines, we actually are working with eight major pharmacy chains across the country right now to help consumers find affordable prices and get a flu vaccine. So we'll see what happens with the vaccine. But we're going to be ready to both provide information, and potentially more, when the time is right.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Fair enough. And then looking at the telehealth space, I know that's something that continues to be a growth area, but also poses a risk because you don't know what the future outlook is going to be for that. As it stands right now, what do you see, in terms of the potential, as well as barriers right now?

DOUG HIRSCH: I think the potential is huge. And if we go back to 2019, I think it was, like, 11% of Americans had ever used a telehealth service. And then, boom, the pandemic hits. And all of a sudden, almost 46% of people are using telehealth services.

I think that will ratchet back a little bit, as people still want to go to the doctor. And now that they have the opportunity again, as doctor's offices open up, they'll start to go back. But I think for certain categories, telehealth is here to stay. And I think for many things, whether it be a follow-up to a major visit, or for mental health, or certain categories, telehealth is here to stay.

I think how it gets expressed will still remain to be seen. But I think we'll continue to see people going to real doctors, we'll continue to see people going to telehealth. And GoodRx will help you with all of those.

- Doug, after the election, we saw big pop in the overall health care sector. I'd be curious to get your take on this "Goldilocks" situation, as it appears to be shaping up, in terms of a Biden presidency with a Republican-controlled Senate, if that's the case. We'll see what happens with runoffs come through. But if that is the case, how does that maybe provide a boost for a company like yours that's helping Americans access cheaper drugs out there? Talk to me about how that could change the growth trajectory.

DOUG HIRSCH: You know, a lot of health care policy-- first of all, we all know it's so confusing, right? And the devil is often in the details. So look, we started this company back in 2010. Everyone told me at that time that, oh, the ACA-- Obamacare was coming out, and all products would be free, and all health care would be free. Obviously, that's not the case.

So our company has grown up in the age of Obamacare, and we still have had plenty of opportunity, and there's plenty of green fields in front of us. I think any focus on health care is great, because more information, more transparency is good for consumers. But there's always going to be gaps. And nothing we've seen, in terms of current policies from either the Trump or Biden demonstration, necessarily impacts our business. We just see more and more Americans who are activated and ready to get more information, so they can find solutions.

And think about what's happening outside of the Biden administration. We have more Americans who are unemployed, or changing jobs, or changes in coverage. A lot of questions, a lot of uncertainty, and a lot of demand for patient-driven health care, which is what we're doing.

- Doug, I want to get back to what you said about the needs that you're seeing on your platform, and what that says about what is being needed right now, aside from the coronavirus. There's been a lot of concern that as a result of what happened in the initial days of the pandemic, other needs were not met as it relates to medical needs. Whether that's a vaccine or a simple checkup. What does the activity you're seeing right now suggest, in terms of where the needs are right now, aside from COVID?

DOUG HIRSCH: Yeah. I mean, we need to get back to normal, right? We need to get back to people being able to get the preventative health care that they need, right? So that doctor visit you've been putting off, that symptom you've been having that you haven't wanted to look at, the visit to the dentist. You know? A lot of these things have just not happened, as there's been reduced capacity, or again, doctors offices or pharmacies, whatever, were closed.

And so I think there's a lot of pent-up demand of people who have wanted to see a physician or a medical professional about something, that hopefully, as-- whether it's a vaccine, or the economy opens up, there'll be more opportunity. But it's-- I'm concerned, because I think all of us-- a little bit of preventive care goes a long way. And I would like to see all of us be able to get access to that. That's why I think-- again, I think telehealth and, again, mail delivery are two solutions to that problem.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Doug, looking at the new administration that's anticipated, how large of a shadow do you anticipate the drug pricing conversation to cast over the business as it stands in the coming months?

DOUG HIRSCH: I don't see it casting a shadow over our business. I think it actually is the reverse. I mean, there's some very exciting conversations going on about more information being made free, whether it be about-- actually about the medical side, as well as the prescription side, where there'll be more information for a consumer to be able to compare prices and see if their copay is the best, or see if there's a GoodRx discount that's better.

So I'm actually seeing a lot of very positive moving. Because the step 1 in fixing health care is understanding it. And not just for policymakers, but also for consumers. And so I'm very excited about those policies that open up this long, locked-up information.

And then otherwise, I think, look, we continue to service Americans. Every plan I've seen has lots of gaps. Any American will tell you that. And we are going to be there to fill in those gaps and guide people, and be a front door to help them figure out whatever plans are-- become policy.

- Doug Hirsch, the CEO of GoodRx. Appreciate you joining us today.

DOUG HIRSCH: Thank you.