About 28% of Americans experience difficulty affording their prescription drugs, and 31% don’t take their medication as prescribed because of cost, according to KFF. A new partnership is addressing this issue.
Scripta Insights, a prescription navigation company, announced last week it is now working with Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company (Cost Plus Drugs), a mail-order pharmacy. Boston-based Scripta Insights works with self-insured employers and health plans to help their members find the lowest cost options for their medications. Dallas-based Cost Plus Drugs cuts out the middlemen and negotiates directly with manufacturers and adds a 15% margin, according to its website. It offers more than 1,000 generic drugs that ship to patients’ homes.
Through the partnership, Scripta Insights is integrating Cost Plus Drugs into its Med Mapper solution, which analyzes drugs on the market to determine the most cost-effective options. Through Scripta Insights’ app, users can input the medications they’re taking, and the company will provide a savings report that will show different options on how they can save on their prescriptions (such as a therapeutic alternative or changing the dosage).
Starting in 2024, when members use the Scripta Insights app, buying through Cost Plus Drugs will show up on the savings report if the Med Mapper considers it a cost-effective option.
“We’ll be able to make recommendations like, ‘Hey, for you, here are your options. And by the way, one of those options is [buying] from Cost Plus Drugs. You can click right here and buy it and we’ll help you take care of that whole process,’” said Eric Levin, CEO of Scripta Insights, in an interview.
The companies chose to work with one another because they “share a common goal of providing consumers the lowest possible price for their prescription medications,” said Alex Oshmyansky, CEO of Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, in a statement.
Levin echoed this sentiment, highlighting the fact that many Americans aren’t adhering to their medications due to the high cost of prescription drugs.
“When you have 25 to 35% of people not taking the drugs they need on a regular basis because they can’t afford it, that’s a big problem. … Clearly, Cost Plus Drugs has a similar vision,” he said. “They’ve said, ‘Hey, let’s take all of the complexity out of this marketplace.’ And it is one of the most opaque and complex markets — if not the most — in America.”
Levin declined to share the business model of the relationship between Scripta Insights and Cost Plus Drugs.
Scripta Insights’ most direct competitor is Rx Savings Solutions, which works with employers, health plans and brokers to provide personalized recommendations to its members on how to save on their prescription medications. The company was recently acquired by McKesson for $875 million. Cost Plus Drugs functions similarly to DiRx, which also cuts out pharmacy middlemen and purchases drugs directly from manufacturers, and ships medications to patients’ homes. Amazon Pharmacy is another mail-order pharmacy, which offers RxPass to Prime members and gives access to generic drugs for $5 a month.
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