For years big pharma companies have tended to reserve their lowest rates for big employers and insurance companies. Blink Health is seeking to end that by offering its customers generic drugs at drastically reduced prices. This young startup company lets its customers compare drug prices online, order prescriptions from the comfort of their homes, and then pick them up at their pharmacy at a later date. For many years this service was private, but now Blink has opened it to the public with a website and a handy smartphone app.
Better Options For Patients
According to the co-founder, Geoffrey Chaiken, the mission of Blink Health is to make healthcare affordable, clearly priced, and easy to purchase. Previous interviews have drawn comparisons with the side GoodRx that already lets you shop around for the best drug prices. However, Chaiken points out that Blink has set itself apart from similar brands by allowing users choose from over 60,000 pharmacies, instead of telling them where they have to go.
A representative from Blink further detailed the differences between the company and its competitor:
Blink has the lowest prices of any discount offering, even lower than GoodRx. The Blink Price is the same at every pharmacy, so the patient no longer needs to switch pharmacies to access lower prices on their meds. With GoodRx coupons, users have to travel to whichever pharmacy is participating. Additionally Blink gives a $5 off discount to first time users and has a referral program that allows patients to get $10 credits for each friend they refer.
Chaiken pointed out that drugs on his website usually cost $10 or less, and 40% of the drugs cost $5 or less with the company's services. This kind of service could prove invaluable to millions of Americans. In a time when the cost of living is rising quickly, twenty to thirty percent of prescriptions are never filled. Just last year the price of prescription drug rose by ten percent. And of course we all know about Martin Shkreli, the infamous Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO who hiked the price of the HIV/AIDS medication Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent.
The Pharma-Consumer Price War
What has kept drug prices so high is that patients don’t know what their drugs ought to cost. Too many patients end up paying more than they should. With Blink's new website up and running, Chaiken is optimistic that the company will be able to educate customers and turn a profit. Even though they don’t charge to use their website, Blink gets a cut from every transaction that saves their customer’s money.
Brand name drugs may be available on Blink, but they don't carry the great discounts that generic medications do. Even though 90 percent of drugs available to patients are sold as generic brands, it's usually the brand name that catch people’s attention. In a statement made to the Huffington Post, Blink aims to offer discounts on brand name meds in the near future.
Cover image from Blink Health's website.