OSHKOSH, WISC. -- January 4, 2008 -- Independent pharmacies that long have been struggling to stay in business are losing their marketshare to large chain pharmacies. Independent pharmacies currently fill about ¼ of all prescriptions but have about 33% of all stores. They are smaller in size, have fewer employees, have less revenue and often close when the current pharmacist-owner retires.
Over the past two decades, the battle for prescriptions has been won by large chains. They won the battle of convenience: a store on every major intersection, close to other major shopping outlets, lots of other merchandise, and stores open 24 hours. They did not win because of low prices or customer service. Chains know that consumers don't have an efficient way to shop and compare prices and services; in fact, they know that price is not relevant to consumers that have prescription insurance and are charged the same co-payment at every pharmacy.
But the day has come when price and service are relevant because many employers, insurers and the government are changing benefit designs. Consider Medicare Part D: members are responsible for a substantial portion of the cost especially when they get in the "donut hole." Consider Consumer Directed Healthplans (CDH) with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) where consumers are responsible for 100% of costs up to their annual deductible. Often the total price for prescriptions through BidRx.com are less than the insurance copay which saves money for both consumers and employers. These consumers are shopping for prescription value; they want to research prescription options and compare prices before they buy.
But where do consumers go to shop and compare? The best option is www.BidRx.com. BidRx.com brings head-to-head competition to home computers much like online travel sites and online auction sites. BidRx.com lets pharmaceutical companies compete by showing similar products to treat the same illness - just like there are many different airlines that fly from Chicago to New York at different prices -- and lets pharmacies across the U.S. compete for filling prescriptions. Even small independent pharmacies without large marketing budgets or a store on every corner can compete for prescriptions and earn new business. Consumers will be surprised to learn that substantial savings are available when a competitive, transparent marketplace works for them.
Go to www.BidRx.com. Consumers should click on "How it works" and watch a brief tutorial; then register and try it out. Learn about drug product options that are similar to the prescription you enter and "Get Instant Bids" from competing pharmacies.
Pharmacies should click on "Pharmacy Providers" and "Apply." Their applications are processed immediately so they can compete for the prescription needs of consumers in their neighborhood or across the country. Because of BidRx.com, small, independent pharmacies can grow their business and pass on the benefit of lower prices and valued services to consumers.
Competition works. Consumers go to www.BidRx.com to save on prescriptions and services; pharmaceutical companies go to BidRx.com to market their products; and pharmacies go to BidRx.com to grow their customer base.
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.