GoodRx: It’s Always Been Personal

GDRX IPO_Blog Post

I will never forget the first time we met Doug Hirsch and Trevor Bezdek, the founders and co-CEOs at GoodRx, in person. My partner Vic Parker and I met them for lunch near their office in Santa Monica in the summer of 2015. It was a different meeting from the start. Despite a growing halo around the company and the pedigree of these founders, they were different. The conversation didn’t center around revenue growth or profits – though there was plenty of both quickly accruing within this business. The discussion instead centered around Doug’s personal experience struggling to navigate our healthcare system’s prescription drug process, in this case making heads or tails of wildly disparate prices for the exact same drug at pharmacies just a few miles apart. Trevor spoke in remarkable detail about their relationships with key partners across healthcare – PBMs, retail pharmacies, physicians – and the important unifying role GoodRx would continue to play in allowing individuals to better navigate this fractured ecosystem. And collectively, Doug and Trevor spoke at length about the real impact this platform was having on people and patients across our country.

It was clear these founders were different. It was clear the mission of the company was different. And it was clear it was all very personal for them.

Healthcare in America – for better or worse – is managed from the top down. Populations are stratified and assessed for risk. Employers purchase coverage for their employees from insurance companies who gate access to care and attempt to set (or negotiate) pricing. There are societal and economic reasons behind this approach (i.e. risk sharing) but, in the end, health is a deeply personal thing – perhaps the most personal thing. Populations don’t wake up sick. Insurance companies don’t visit the doctor. And employers do not help an individual decide whether there is enough money in his or her bank account to cover the cost of monthly prescriptions at the pharmacy counter. Individual people do these things.

And it is people that have been at the center of GoodRx’s mission since its inception. It doesn’t sound all that profound, but in our contorted healthcare system in the United States, it most certainly is. Start with the consumer. Give them better information through a delightful product experience. Allow them to make more informed decisions about their healthcare spend. Make things less expensive. Revolutionary? Disruptive? Maybe… But, if you ask Doug and Trevor, they would probably just say simple, straightforward, easy – and affordable.

While becoming a public company is an important milestone, GoodRx has always been more focused on making sure every American has access to the affordable and convenient healthcare they deserve. The company remains committed to addressing the real-life challenges Americans face when they encounter the complexity and the exorbitant costs of our healthcare system. Average Americans with real jobs and insurance struggling to navigate the high costs of care and prescription drugs in the face of ever-receding employer-based coverage. Single mothers without insurance trying to afford medicine for their sick children. Recently laid off workers with limited government assistance who require multiple daily medications costing hundreds or thousands of dollars a month. These are real, everyday examples. These are the problems that Doug and Trevor set out to address almost 10 years ago.

Today, what GoodRx has accomplished is nothing short of phenomenal. The company has saved Americans over $20 billion on prescription drugs and currently serves 4.9 million active customers on a monthly basis – 80% of whom are repeat users. The GoodRx platform can reduce the cost of nearly any generic or branded prescription medication in the United States by more than 70% off its list price. And the GoodRx app is the #1 rated healthcare app across the Apple and GooglePlay App Stores with an NPS score of 86 (compare that to any health insurance company’s NPS score!). In addition, the company has recently added telehealth, lab tests and a variety of subscription services to continue to broaden the GoodRx platform and give customers more ways to save. It’s a remarkable list of achievements for a relatively young company, but it’s just a start when considering how much work there is left to be done to improve healthcare in this country.

On the eve of GoodRx’s IPO, in his typical humble fashion, Doug sent a thoughtful note to his Board thanking us for our support, encouragement and belief in both he and Trevor as founders and their little start up. Doug, let me and my partners at Spectrum be the first to correct you. We are the ones who are truly grateful for the opportunity to partner with you both and the incredible mission of your not-so-little public company. It has become deeply personal for us as well.

Doug and Trevor, congratulations on this latest achievement and here’s to the road ahead. We are honored to support you both and your amazing team – Andrew, Karsten, Bansi, Justin, Babak, Thomas, Jody, Ravi, Gracye, Reena – and everyone else at GoodRx as this platform embarks on life as a public company and works to ensure every American gets the healthcare they need at a price they can afford. It’s a lofty ambition, but I know you’re up for the fight.

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