BuzzRx vs. GoodRx: What's the Difference?
Both BuzzRx® and GoodRx® offer FREE, pre-activated, and ready-to-use prescription discount cards and coupons that can help save up to 80% at over 60,000 participating pharmacies nationwide. Anyone can use the cards to save, even if they have insurance, and all prescriptions are eligible for savings—including pet medications and some OTC’s with a signed prescription.
While there are some notable differences between the two prescription discount card companies, both share a similar mission to help make medications more affordable and accessible for all people in America through Rx price transparency. Continue reading to learn more about the similarities and differences between BuzzRx and GoodRx.
What are the founding stories of BuzzRx and GoodRx?
BuzzRx (formerly known as Watertree Health®) and GoodRx were both founded over ten years ago in 2010 and 2011, respectively. At the time, prescription discount cards were rarely known and even more rarely used.
BuzzRx was co-founded by Matthew Herfield and Ronnie Harris, who were looking to start a business that could help make prescription drugs more affordable in the U.S. Matt saw first-hand while running a point-of-care dispensing business how patients—many of them with health insurance—struggled to pay for prescriptions. He also frequently heard from doctors that patients couldn’t afford their prescriptions and was compelled to take action. Even today, it’s estimated that 20% to 30% of prescriptions written are not filled, with cost being among the leading reasons.
To launch the business, Matt and Ronnie built a vast network of community-based Representatives who worked with local health care providers to extend prescription discounts to their patients. To further scale the company’s mission, they decided to partner with nonprofits also focused on improving health to give back more deeply to the communities in which they worked. The team launched its first free prescription discount card benefiting the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, TX, and today, BuzzRx is partnered with 14 regional food banks and has national partnerships with Make-A-Wish®, the ASPCA®, and the National Kidney Foundation®. Every time someone saves with one of these cards, the nonprofit featured on the card receives a donation from BuzzRx at no cost to the cardholder. It should be noted that the donations do not reduce discounts.
In August 2020, BuzzRx rebranded from Watertree Health to launch its direct-to-consumer efforts to reach even more Americans overwhelmed by the cost of their prescription medications--including people with health insurance. The company still has Representatives in all 50 states who distribute their prescription discount cards to health care providers in communities of need.
GoodRx began in 2010 when co-founder Doug Hirsch tried to fill an alarmingly expensive prescription from a doctor and decided to shop around for a lower price. He quickly realized that Americans lacked a one-stop destination for prescription discounts and prices. That experience was the spark that started GoodRx, a company that combines health care and technology to tackle prescription price transparency at retail pharmacies across the country.
How are BuzzRx and GoodRx funded?
Unlike GoodRx, BuzzRx is a private company and self-funded with no outside investors. As of August 28, 2020, GoodRx filed to go public and began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on September 23, 2020. Since its IPO, GoodRx’s stock prices have fluctuated as some investors remain skeptical since the announcement of Amazon Pharmacy on November 17, 2020. Amazon pharmacy provides discounted prescription drugs and delivery services, made possible by their acquisition of PillPack for $750 million in 2018, which ultimately allowed Amazon to utilize their pharmacy licenses in all fifty states. In response, GoodRx Co-Founder Doug Hirsch stated, “I think they (Amazon) are trying to do what they do best, which is mail-order. I don’t see it as competitive, I see it as complementary.”
Before going public, GoodRx had multiple outside investments, most notably from the global tech investment firm Silver Lake. In 2018, Silver Lake made a private equity investment for 35.3% ownership or roughly one-third of the company. They recently took a $125 million stake of 3.8 million shares through a private placement set to the IPO price to help build up GoodRx’s position in the public market. GoodRx’s other investors include Francisco Partners and Spectrum Equity.
Will I save more on prescriptions with the BuzzRx or GoodRx discount card?
Both companies offer a free prescription discount card and coupons that can save up to 80% at over 60,000 pharmacies nationwide. The card and coupons function very similarly and can be printed or requested via mail, email, text, or through each company’s mobile apps, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. Both GoodRx and BuzzRx allow you to search for the lowest prescription price at a pharmacy nearby. Prescription discounts vary depending on several factors, including the popularity of a medication, the quantity, form, and dosage, pharmacy chain, and location. Generic drugs also tend to have better discounts than brand-name versions.
Both GoodRx and BuzzRx offer significant prescription savings on thousands of medications—BuzzRx may have better discounts on some medications while GoodRx has better discounts on others. Due to a partnership with Walgreens®, BuzzRx offers some of the best-discounted rates at this chain. Both companies strive to give cardholders the deepest discounts their pharmacy contracts will allow. It may be wise to check both websites or apps to see the cheapest Rx price for you.
Because they have more members, GoodRx has helped save cardholders $20 billion, while BuzzRx has helped save nearly $1 billion on prescription medications.
How do I use BuzzRx or GoodRx?
Using either BuzzRx or GoodRx is simple. On any of your devices, visit either website or download their mobile apps. To start, type in the name of your prescription drug and make sure to adjust the form, dosage, and quantity to match the prescription from your doctor. Make sure that your location services are turned on, or you have input the correct zip code. Your search will populate the best savings by pharmacy chain. When filling or refilling your prescription drug, show your card or coupon to the pharmacist and ask them to enter the discount codes displayed. These codes are similar to those found on your insurance card; however, the prescription discount cannot be applied to your insurance price. You can ask your pharmacist to compare the discounted price to your insurance price, and if cheaper, use BuzzRx or GoodRx in place of insurance. The prescription discount price can sometimes be lower than copays, help save money if a high deductible must be met, or fill in if your insurance plan doesn't cover a medication. Neither BuzzRx nor GoodRx are insurance or are meant to replace insurance.
How do BuzzRx and GoodRx make money?
Both BuzzRx and GoodRx partner directly with the nation’s leading prescription claims administrators (known as Pharmacy Benefit Managers, or PBMs) to offer the lowest possible prices for their millions of cardholders. When someone uses either GoodRx or BuzzRx to save money, the PBM partners pay a fee, which is why both company’s products are free to use.
GoodRx has other ancillary services such as their HeyDoctor telehealth service, which was purchased in 2019, and their paid prescription discount card program, GoodRx Gold, which charges a monthly fee of $5.99 for individuals or $9.99 for families. In addition, they also make revenues from selling advertising space on their website.
How do BuzzRx and GoodRx give back to their communities?
Both BuzzRx and GoodRx are focused on helping people afford their medications and giving back to the local communities in which they work. Their approaches vary, however. Since its inception, BuzzRx is the only prescription discount card company that donates to its nonprofit partners year-round. A donation is made at no cost to the cardholder every time someone saves using a card cobranded with the nonprofit partner. To date, BuzzRx has donated over 7 million dollars to Make-A-Wish®, the ASPCA®, the National Kidney Foundation®, and 15 regional food banks in some of the most food-insecure areas of the U.S. BuzzRx has had charitable programs since its inception.
GoodRx, on the other hand, more recently launched GoodRx Helps to help provide prescription drugs to Americans in need. They also announced that they plan to set aside more than 1 million shares from its IPO to expand this program dramatically. In addition, GoodRx has an employee-driven donation program called Good to Give. Every quarter, they donate $25,000 to causes chosen by employees that reflect their interests and passions.
Will BuzzRx and GoodRx protect my personal information?
BuzzRx and GoodRx do not sell and have never sold personal medical information to third parties. Neither prescription discount card company falls under HIPAA; however, they both take data security very seriously and maintain security safeguards to protect the limited personal medical information that they do receive.
Both BuzzRx and GoodRx are very transparent about what data they collect, how it is used, with what companies it is shared, and why in their respective privacy policies found here: https://www.buzzrx.com/privacy-policy; https://support.goodrx.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005228506-Privacy-Policy. Despite being a much smaller company in comparison, BuzzRx has a dedicated data security team like GoodRx.
While BuzzRx and GoodRx are not the only prescription discount card options available, they are both industry leaders providing the most competitive prescription discounts. In addition, BuzzRx is a cause marketing leader for their year-round charity programs, giving back to nonprofits that share a similar mission. While GoodRx also does philanthropic work, it does so on a smaller scale.
To give back every time you save, get a free BuzzRx prescription discount card or download the free mobile app at www.buzzrx.com/app and get prescription prices that won’t sting®.