Do Prescription Discount Cards really work?
It seems most of the prescription discount cards you see advertise up to 75-80% off prescription drug prices.
But what does that really mean? For many patients who have a good pharmacy benefits plan and a fixed co-pay of $5 or $10, probably not much.
The cards don’t give them a discount off of their copay, as many believe.
For the uninsured or those on high deductible plans or who receive some discount on their medications the prescription discount card may result in some savings. Even with higher copays of $15 or more, generics may be cheaper with a prescription discount card.
The prescription discount card companies negotiate their own pricing schedules with pharmacies and make their money by taking a small transaction fee from the pharmacy when you use the card. It does not cost the patient anything additional to use these cards.
Comparison Shopping is Difficult
Calling the pharmacy to check on pricing for the medication(s) using the prescription discount card usually isn’t fruitful as most want you to come in with the card to obtain pricing.
While one card may have a better price on one of your prescriptions, it may not be as great for the others.
And there may be different retail prices for the same medications between different pharmacies.
Are These Things Cluttering Your Reception area?
I see a lot of offices with all these prescription discount cards and other brochures for outside organizations covering reception area desks, wall racks and tables.
Questionable benefit for the patient and doesn’t add to the calm, clean ambiance of the practice environment.
How About Marketing Your Practice with Your Logo on a Prescription Discount Card?
When I was researching these for a recent client practice, here’s one that made sense: RxCut
They manage their own systems, network, discounts, customer service, graphics and web development and implementation, unlike the Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) cards from the insurance company or pharmacy.
The average savings is 44% or $35.00 per prescription.
On 21 of the 25 most frequently used generic drugs they have been lower than a generic copay of $10 or more.
RX Cut provides huge discounts on Pet Meds that have a human equivalent.
But here are two things that really set this apart as a great benefit to your patients and free marketing for the practice:
- You get your logo on the card. Hand it out to patients in the office, at community events, at health fairs, wherever. Each time the patient takes it out to pay for a prescription, they see your practice logo.
- Proprietary Search Engine. Allows you to add multiple medications & search multiple pharmacies at once listing them in order from lowest to highest price, and it’s fully integrated with Google Maps!
Here’s how I tried it out for my own use: