Last week at ViVE, industry experts and vendors convened in Nashville to discuss emerging healthcare topics and market trends. RxLink was onsite for the event and used the opportunity to connect with many new partners.
On the tail end of the conference, Amazon announced their newest benefit for users of Amazon pharmacy – the ability to automatically apply manufacturer discounts to brand name drugs. This announcement comes on the heels of Amazon Pharmacy rolling out access to generic prescriptions for $5 per month earlier this year. While access to cheaper generics will go a long way in helping the masses of Americans afford their medications, there is still an overwhelming imbalance of prescription spending on branded therapies. According to a recent study on drug coupons by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (source link here), while branded medications only account for around 10% of prescriptions in the US, they make up 79% of total drug spending!
Availability of medication affordability programs is not the issue. Awareness and education of how, when, and where to apply these programs is the challenge. On top of that, providers are already stretched and have little time to identify these programs for patients. In the majority of cases, patients do not know that these programs exist, where to find them, or how to use them with/without their commercial health insurance. This is exactly what RxLink was built to address. Our mission is to demystify complex pharmaceutical pricing models to empower patients with information that impacts both their health and their wealth.
Some quotes that really stood out to me from the Amazon announcement include:
“To reduce out-of-pocket costs, some drug manufacturers offer coupons for their brand-name medications. But these discounts and coupons can be hard to find and often require clipping, clicking and downloading. Consumers often face a tedious process that involves searching online, downloading forms, enrolling in a program or having to call the drug manufacturer directly. One study found patients only used manufacturer-sponsored coupons 15% of the time they were available to them.”
“THE CHALLENGE OFTEN IS KNOWING WHAT EXISTS AND HOW TO ACCESS IT AND TO APPLY IT,”
“We’re removing the onus on the patient to figure out whether some of these tools exist to actually make the medications cheaper,” Gupta noted. “This can really can help bring down the price point of branded pharmaceuticals that often are inaccessible to the people who need them the most.”
“Convenience is going to help the patient activation and engagement, which will ultimately help with adherence, and then think, over time, improve outcomes.”
All patients, despite their choice of pharmacy, should have access to a clear picture of their personalized medication savings map, outlining the best way to get their medications for the cheapest price possible. RxLink exists to automate and make sense of medication savings in the same way that Amazon is doing, but at every retail pharmacy!
Contact us today to learn more about how our simple API can provide your patient engagement solution with this functionality.