OSHKOSH, WISC. -- August 2, 2006 -- Americans are paying more and more for their medications, with many seeing double-digit increases or more over the past decade. The changing landscape of brand names, generics and over-the-counter choices is confusing, and decisions about prescribing are often made without regard to product cost. Health insurance coverage is changing rapidly too. The trend is toward higher co-payments or co-insurance for traditional prescription card programs and consumer-driven health plans with high deductibles, meaning that out-of-pocket expenses are on the rise.
With all of these changes, cost is becoming more of a factor when consumers are ready to fill their prescriptions. Enter BidRx.com, a free website that is changing the way prescription drugs are marketed, sold, distributed and dispensed in the United States. As online travel sites have revolutionized how consumers find inexpensive airfares and hotels online, BidRx.com has created an open and competitive marketplace for consumers to find the best medications for their health needs at the best prices, with savings up to 85 percent or more on prescriptions. Visitors to the site can learn about similar medications they could be taking, receive discounts directly from pharmaceutical companies, and then put their prescriptions out for bid so they can compare prices and services from various pharmacies.
Several thousand pharmacies nationwide, including neighborhood, mail-order and specialty pharmacies, have signed contracts to bid for business on BidRx.com. Omro Pharmacy of Omro, Wisconsin, is one of the pharmacies to become a site partner. "As an independent drug store, we're always looking for ways to serve more customers," says Ken Bressers, RPh, pharmacist and owner, Omro Pharmacy. "I think it's really important that BidRx exists. It's the first real way to find reasonable prescription pricing online. And, with BidRx.com, although we're in a small town, our pharmacy can reach millions of American consumers and offer them medications at honest prices. That makes us feel good, and it keeps us in business."
Positive feedback about the site has been overwhelming. "I first heard about BidRx.com when I was checking a prescription price for my mom. I went to her regular pharmacy to find out their price, which was $26.99. For fun, I checked the same prescription on BidRx.com. I was shocked that the bid came back at only $8.64," says Nancy Leatherwood, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. "It was a huge cost savings for my mom, who is on a fixed income. BidRx was so easy, I really recommend it for everyone. I'll definitely do it again for my mom and for my own prescriptions. I had no idea that there could be such a huge range in medication pricing; it was a real eye-opener."
Consumers are finding BidRx.com to be an excellent tool for comparison shopping, as well. "I'm independently employed, and pay for my own insurance," says John LaPrest, Pickett, Wisconsin. "I was using an acid reflux medication at a cost of more than $100 a month, just too much. I went to BidRx.com to research my options, and discovered there were several similar drugs, including an over-the-counter drug for only about $14 a month. I asked my physician, and he told me, sure, it's the same basic formula; it would work. Why didn't he tell me about it before? He said, frankly, doctors don't have the time; there's no way they can keep up with new drugs, new generic choices or those that move to over-the-counter. If they know that a particular brand works, that's what they prescribe. But they're not taking cost into account. Before I fill any prescription now, I'm going to check BidRx.com."
It's easy to participate. Visit BidRx.com and register on the confidential and secure site. Enter a drug name, quantity and directions, and instantly obtain information and competition on medications, including prices, electronic coupons for discounts from pharmaceutical companies, and competitive bids on prescriptions and services from everywhere, including local neighborhood pharmacies and mail-order pharmacies around the United States.
"Consumers are demanding more information and better prices for their prescriptions. And with the trend toward consumer-driven health plans, including Medicare Part D, BidRx.com can help control out-of-pocket costs and increase consumers' knowledge about prescription drugs," says Tom Kellenberger, Pharm.D., vice president, BidRx, LLC. "The bottom line? Americans will save money by using BidRx.com to shop for their prescriptions and they can still use their local pharmacies if they are participating. But for the best results right now, consumers should check the 'include mail order' box to compare prices across the United States; they also can invite their local pharmacies to join BidRxsm. Early users are enjoying significant savings even when compared to the co-payment on their prescription benefit card."
BidRx, LLC, based in Oshkosh, Wisc., connects consumers and prescribers with pharmacies, manufacturers, and benefit sponsors to empower them to make better, more cost-effective drug and service purchasing decisions. Visit www.BidRx.com to learn more.