How Does GoodRx Make Money? Business Model of GoodRx


How Does GoodRx Make Money

GoodRx is a telemedicine platform focused on providing affordable and convenient healthcare. The company was originally founded to help lower prescription drug prices.

GoodRx primarily makes money via prescription drug transactions. However, the company also makes money via paid telehealth services, premium subscription services, data sales, and advertising.

Founded in 2011 by Trevor Bezdek, Doug Hirsch, and Scott Marlette, the company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.

Originally founded to help Americans lower their prescription drug costs via partnerships with major prescription drug companies and pharmacies, GoodRx has expanded to other services. These include telemedicine and medical testing.

GoodRx (GDRX) is a public company that trades on the NASDAQ. It went public in 2020 with a successful IPO that raised $1.1 billion. Despite an initial public offering priced at $33 per share, the stock started trading at $46 per share.[1]

However, investors haven’t been as kind to the company in 2022. The stock fell on disappointing earnings results and guidance.[2] As of September 2022, the stock was trading for just under $7 per share.

What is GoodRx & How Does It Work?

GoodRx is a platform that provides a variety of services designed to lower the costs of healthcare. They do this via a website and mobile app. The company’s primary service is helping patients access cheaper prescription drugs. However, the company rebranded to GoodRx Care in 2019 to represent the fact that they also provide telemedicine services and other medical testing.

GoodRx was founded to address the fact that prescription drug costs in the US are not regulated. For that reason, the cost of drugs can vary considerably from one pharmacy to the next. As many insurance companies require co-pays for prescription drug prices, this can be extremely costly for consumers.

GoodRx gathers current price data and discounts to help consumers find the lower cost pharmacy for their particular prescriptions. Their service is free to users and does not even require registration. Patients simply type in the name of the drug they need in the website’s or mobile app’s search bar.

GoodRx then searches their database of pharmacies and discounts and provides a list of the cheapest places to purchase their prescription. They also have coupons through partnerships with prescription drug companies that are free to use and accepted at almost every US pharmacy.

Patients can either print off the coupons, use GoodRx’s mobile app, or email the coupons to themselves. Then the pharmacist will input the coupon for an instant discount when they purchase the drugs. While many insurance plans in the US require that their plan participants get their drugs from particular pharmacies, GoodRx claims to often be able to find the drugs people need for less than their insurance co-pay.

For that reason, the service can be helpful to people with restrictive insurance plans. The company also searches for generic medications to maximize their users’ savings. The caveat is that a patient cannot use both their insurance and a GoodRx discount card or coupon. They need to use one or the other.

GoodRx claims to have saved Americans $35 billion on healthcare and prescription drugs via their service. They offer help for people who are on Medicare and will even help people find cheaper prescription drugs for their pets.

GoodRx offers a Discount Card that users can use to get up to 80% off on prescriptions at over 70,000 US pharmacies. Users just have to show their card when purchasing a prescription. This is an alternative to coupons for people who don’t have a smartphone or internet access.

The company also offers a GoodRx Gold card. This is a monthly healthcare membership that allows people to save even more on their prescriptions. They claim that thousands of prescriptions cost less than $10 with the card. It also allows holders to visit licensed telehealth healthcare providers for as little as $19. The card also entitles the holder to free home delivery on eligible medications.

GoodRx has moved into providing additional healthcare services. These include telehealth doctors. The company allows you to compare the cost of telehealth services so you can see doctors without needing insurance. They offer things like general consultations, prescription refills, anxiety consultations, birth control conversations, flu shots, online therapy, and more.

They partner with a number of different existing telehealth providers in order to provide these services, including companies like Sesame, twentyeight, peak, monument, genieMD, ADHD Online, and amwell.

Another new area the company has ventured into is online lab tests. The company allows you to order a lab test online and then complete it either at home or at a service center. They facilitate tests like COVID-19 tests, testosterone tests, pregnancy tests, and more.

GoodRx provides a number of resources on their site to help patients understand the healthcare and prescription medication system and how to potentially save money. The company has been very popular with consumers since it launched.

GoodRx has over 1 million subscribers[3] for its Gold program and over 7 million monthly users on its platform.[4] However, GoodRx has also received its share of criticism. Some suggest that the company doesn’t always direct users to the cheapest-priced pharmacy. Indeed, GoodRx only displays the pricing of its partners or paid advertisers.[5]

The company also collects and sells your personal data when you do register for an account, something that might concern people who are privacy conscious.[6]

 

Business Model of GoodRx

GoodRx’s business model originally revolved around pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) payments. The company makes money from pharmacies whenever someone uses one of GoodRx’s coupons to buy prescription drugs. The PBM collects the fees from the pharmacy and then share a portion of the fees with GoodRx. These fees can be between $8 and $15 per prescription.

The company’s business model was originally similar to other prescription discount card providers like Singlecare and RxCut. The way these programs work is that discount card programs negotiate with pharmacies for a discount on drugs. The company then gets marketing and fee-to-fill fees for every prescription filled using the savings card.

Some of these companies are privately owned, while others are non-profits. For example, Familywize works in partnership with the United Way to help people reduce their prescription costs. What as unique about GoodRx’s model was that they digitized the process and made it easier to access.

Rather than require people to apply for a discount card and hand over their personal information, they created an online and mobile platform where people could easily download coupons without even needing to register for the service. This made these types of discounts more accessible to patients and generated an active and loyal user base.

Many people check GoodRx for the cost of their drugs before they fill them with their insurance plan to see which is cheaper. They also offer a paid subscription drug discount card, which is more similar to the offerings of other drug saving cards.

GoodRx, however, has also branched out to other healthcare services. But GoodRx isn’t providing those services themselves. Instead, GoodRx uses its website and existing users to connect them with existing telehealth providers and lab test providers. GoodRx then gets a referral fee for connecting patients with healthcare services. This means that they have very little overhead for these services.

The company’s foray into online lab bookings and tests shows that the company is committed to expanding their offerings. The company is likely to continue to experiment with these types of ancillary services that offer value to their existing customers.

However, it is important to note that the company also makes a considerable amount of money by offering advertising to drug manufacturers and other healthcare providers. In addition, the company sells data on its users to drug companies, insurance companies, advertising networks, and other groups looking to market to patients. This provides an additional revenue stream.

Because GoodRx’s primary business model relies on the fact that pharmacy prices are unregulated, the company could face difficulties in the future if states began regulating pharmacy prices. In that case, fewer people might use GoodRx to find the lowest cost prescription.

GoodRx has a number of competitors. These include companies like Pharmacy Checker, WellRx, SaveonMed, RxSavings Plan, and Optum Perks. Because they operated in a crowded market, the company has to pay significant more in advertising costs to generate greater brand recognition to help power their growth.

Indeed, the company spent $370.2 million in 2021 on sales and marketing expenses. That was an increase of 45% compared to the previous year. GoodRx also has significant product development and technology costs. They spent $125.8 million to develop new products.[7]

Because of those expenses, GoodRx booked a loss of $25.2 million in 2021.[8]

 

How Does GoodRx Make Money?

GoodRx makes money in four different ways. These are prescription drug transactions, referral fees for telehealth services, premium subscription services, data sales, and advertising.

GoodRx only breaks out their prescription transaction and subscription revenue in their annual report. They categorize everything else as ‘other revenue.’ They reported making $92.1 million in ‘other revenue’ in 2021.[9]

Prescription-Based Revenue

GoodRx makes the majority of its revenue from what it calls ‘prescription transaction fees.’ These are fees that are paid to the company when a user goes to their website and downloads a coupon to use to save money on the price of prescription medication.

When the coupon is used, the pharmacy pays GoodRx a referral fee and dispensing fee for referring patients to that pharmacy. These are fees that are known as prescription benefit manager fees or PBM fees.

In 2021, GoodRx made $593.3 million off their prescription transactions. That was an increase from $488.2 million in 2020.[10]

 

Telehealth Services

It is unclear how much GoodRx’s makes off its telehealth services as the company doesn’t explicitly report their revenue for this income stream. The company partners with telehealth and medical test providers that they have vetted.

Users can then search through their database of providers and find someone who is able to diagnose and treat them at a reasonable rate. Or they order an at-home test or book a medical test at one of GoodRx’s partners.

Insurance is not required for these appointments or lab tests. Patients pay out of pocket for them. The company then gets a referral fee from the telehealth services providers. Customers who don’t have a GoodRx Gold membership pay $49 or more for online doctor visits. Good members, however, can pay as low as $19 for a visit.

 

GoodRx Gold Subscriptions

GoodRx has a subscription program that it calls GoodRx Gold. The program helps customers save money on prescriptions for themselves, their families, and even their pets. They claim to provide up to 90% off prescriptions, free home delivery on many prescriptions, and affordable online doctor’s visits to renew prescriptions or get treated for common conditions.

The company claims that the average individual member saves $2,862 per year and that the average family saves up to $4,052 per year. The Gold membership is accepted at over 38,000 pharmacies in the US.

The GoodRx Gold individual plan costs $9.99 per month, and the family plan costs $19.99 per month. In 2021, GoodRx made $59.9 million off their GoodRx Gold subscription plan. That was an increase from 2020 when they made just $29.3 million off their subscriptions.

 

Advertising

GoodRx sells advertising on its site to healthcare providers, drug companies, and other advertisers. They do not sell the advertising themselves but instead use third-party advertising companies to serve ads on its site. They do not name which advertising partners they work with.

It is unclear how much the company makes from advertising on its site and app.

 

Data Sales

GoodRx’s data licensing and data sales make up a portion of their revenue. GoodRx sells its data to companies like Google, Facebook, and insurance companies. They then use this data to target healthcare-related advertising to GoodRx’s customers across the web.

In 2020, GoodRx got into trouble when an article in Consumer Reports noted that they sell information like the names of the drugs users browsed, the pharmacies they filled their prescriptions, and medical conditions they have.[11] GoodRx has since said that they have made changes to ensure that medical conditions and pharmaceutical information is not shared in their data sales.[12]

It is unclear how much GoodRx makes from the sale of data.

 

GoodRx Funding, Valuation & Revenue

GoodRx (GDRX) is currently a public company trading on the NASDAQ exchange. The company went public in 2020 with a successful IPO.[13] However, the company’s stock price has fallen considerably since it’s debut at $46 per share.[14]

As of September 2022, the company’s stock was trading for just under $7 per share for a total valuation of $2.72 billion. Prior to going public, GoodRx raised $910.3 million in venture capital funding during five funding rounds. Notable investors include Silver Lake and TCV.[15] The company’s IPO also raised $1.1 billion for the company.[16]

GoodRx has made good progress towards increasing its revenue and reducing its expenses and losses in recent years. The company was able to greatly increase their revenue in 2021 to $745.4 million from $488.2 million the year before.[17]

They were able to do this while also reducing their expenses from $826.4 million to just $732 million.[18] That resulted in just a $25.2 million loss in 2021 compared to a $293.6 million loss in 2020.[19]

YearTotal RevenueTotal Cost and Operating ExpensesNet Income
2020$488.2 million$826.4 million($293.6 million)
2021$745.4 million$732 million($25.2 million)

 

Is GoodRx Profitable?

GoodRx is currently not profitable. The company saw a loss of $25.2 million in 2021 and a loss of $293.6 million in 2020. However, the company seems to be on their way to becoming profitable in the future.

GoodRx was able to greatly increase their revenue in 2021 from $488.2 million in 2020 to $745.4 million in 2021.[20] They were also able to reduce their total costs and operating expenses from $826.4 million in 2020 to $732 million in 2021.[21]

GoodRx’s numbers are trending in the right direction. The company is also continually looking for new ways to monetize their user base.

Despite investors’ lack of confidence in their stock, which led to a plunge in the company’s valuation in 2022, the company seems to be on its way to profitability.

 

Conclusion

So, that’s it! We’ve gone over the business model of GoodRx and what the company is doing to change the way we think about prescription drugs.

We hope you found this information helpful in understanding how GoodRx makes money and what they’re trying to accomplish.

The online pharmacy industry is growing rapidly, and this company has the potential to take advantage of that growth. As long as they continue to provide high-quality service, they will be able to maintain their position in this competitive market.

As we’ve mentioned before: GoodRx is a great resource for consumers looking for affordable medications. But don’t just take our word for it—sign up on their website and get started today!

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Sources

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