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Two websites and their apps promise to save consumers as much as 95 percent on prescriptions.
GoodRx and Blink Health work with pharmacies to offer discounts and coupons to folks who have high deductibles or are uninsured. The services are free for consumers to use.
Both also offer potential savings to folks with insurance, including Medicare. However, compare the prices GoodRx and Blink Health offer for medications with your copay. You might find it’s cheaper to pay for some meds out of pocket, as we note in “10 Ways to Get Your Medications for Less.”
GoodRx offers savings of up to 80 percent, although its fine print notes that only 15 percent of GoodRx prescription purchases receive savings of 80 percent or more. The average GoodRx customer saves $276 a year on drugs, according to the site.
Still, savings are savings — and they add up quickly for recurring purchases like prescriptions.
For example, CBS News recently interviewed a Minnesota man who was paying $463 a month for a 30-day supply of Lyrica, a prescription he takes for nerve pain. He was able to find it for $414 through Blink Health and $382 through GoodRx.
The latter price is a savings of about 17.5 percent. That amounts to $972 in a year.
Here’s how GoodRx describes itself in a nutshell: “Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts.”
It collects prices of every FDA-approved prescription drug at more than 70,000 pharmacies in the U.S., according to GoodRx’s website. This enables you to easily see how much pharmacies in your area charge for a particular drug. Try it out right now by typing a prescription name into the search box at the top of GoodRx’s website. You might be surprised by how much the prices vary.
CBS explains why such price-comparison information is so valuable to consumers:
“Prescription drug prices are not regulated. Prices are set via a complex web of relationships between pharmaceutical companies and drug distributors. … That means a pharmacy down the block may have a completely different price for the same drug, but a consumer would have to do quite a bit of legwork to find it.”
GoodRx also offers savings via coupons. When you search for a drug, you’ll see a green “GET FREE COUPON” button next to drugs for which GoodRx has coupons. Print the coupon and present it to the pharmacy when you pick up the medication.
I’ve used GoodRx myself, having learned about it when I worked in a doctor’s office — it has actually been around for years. GoodRx is a no-brainer, in my opinion. You have nothing but a few seconds of time to lose by entering the name of a drug on GoodRx’s website before going to the pharmacy to pick it up. Chances are you will be glad you did.
GoodRx’s app is available for Android and Apple devices.
Blink Health offers savings of up to 95 percent on more than 15,000 medications.
As with GoodRx, you start by searching for your prescription on its website. But then Blink quotes you a single price. “The Blink Price is the same at every participating pharmacy,” the fine print explains.
Blink says it uses its network of some 25 million users to negotiate with pharmacies to determine one low price for each medication. That price is accepted at tens of thousands of pharmacies in the U.S.
Another difference is that you pay for the prescription online rather than when you pick up the drug at the pharmacy. When you pay online, you’ll get a Blink Card that serves as your proof of purchase. You can print it or have it texted to you.
Blink’s app is available for Android and Apple devices — see Blink’s homepage.
What’s your favorite way to save on drugs? Share it with us below or on our Facebook page.