GoodRx: A Prescription for Drug Savings

By Kevin Schulman, Manuel Golda, Julia Lin
2024 | Case No. SM381 | Length 22 pgs.

GoodRx, which launched in 2011, had created a popular online platform that helped millions of patients across America afford their medications. The U.S. pharmaceuticals market was estimated at $527 billion in 2022. But consumers and health care practitioners often found it challenging to navigate this market and find the best prices for generic or brand-name prescriptions. Even online searches for price and availability often proved unreliable.

This case study explores GoodRx’s innovative approach to cost savings, along with a detailed look at the complexities within the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain—and offers a closer look at GoodRx’s workarounds to cut the cost of prescription medications. By early 2024, GoodRx had saved patients an estimated $65 billion in prescription costs. The GoodRx platform also helped keep medications accessible, especially to people who lacked health insurance.

Over the years, GoodRx broadened its services to include telemedicine, veterinary medicine, a prescription subscription service, and even the manufacturing of generic medications. These services, however, had not matched the success of the GoodRx prescription savings program. With impending regulatory pressure on the pharmaceutical industry, changes in the company leadership, potential artificial intelligence (AI) applications, and the increased scrutiny of pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) practices, the GoodRx business model was likely to face significant challenges going forward. What would be the company’s next steps and how would its business model evolve? What new paths should GoodRx explore to provide value to consumers?

Learning Objective

This case is designed to help students understand the many complexities of the U.S. pharmaceutical sector that help create high prescription costs for consumers, even for generic drugs. Students take an inside look at the GoodRx model helping millions of patients find affordable medications, and then discuss the options and financial implications of the company’s potential next moves.
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