Roughly 150 Rx Savings Solutions members are the same people who spend every day designing, building, testing, analyzing, marketing and selling the solution and supporting our 7 million other members.
Few of us are old enough to remember the ALPO dog food commercials with Lorne Greene and his various canine companions. All of them supposedly ate the stuff every day. Greene didn’t, but a competing brand’s president allegedly would eat a can of his company’s dog food each year at the shareholder meeting.
The term “eating our own dog food” has since become a fixture in the tech industry. As you might have guessed, it means we use our own product. Sure, this helps us evaluate and evolve the solution. But more than anything, we need it just as much as anyone else. America’s pharmacy system is that confusing and costly, and we’re all consumers looking for help.
Five Rx Savings Solutions employees shared some personal examples, which are no different than those of any member on any given day:
Gen – She refills her rescue inhaler regularly. Shortly after joining us, with new health insurance and a reset deductible, Gen's ProAir® refill went from $0 to $40 out of pocket. She logged into our tool and saw she could refill at a different pharmacy for $10 less. More recently, she ran out of a common acid reflux med and logged on to price out her 20 mg dose, only to find out it wasn’t covered, but a 40 mg was. After a quick call to her provider, she’s paying only $3 per fill.
Brendan – His doctor called with some lab results and wanted to prescribe Crestor® to lower Brendan's cholesterol. Looking at the ~$250 per fill cost, Brendan asked if the lower-cost generic Rosuvastatin our tool suggested would be OK. No problem. Eight months later, due to joint pain, he requested a change to Atorvastatin to see if that would help. Sure, doc said. Seven months later, due to jaw pain, Brendan searched the portal for another alternative and asked his doc about Simvastatin. Again, doc agreed. One year later, he’s pain free and cholesterol is under control. Generics are free on his plan option, and it only costs our plan $4.13 per month.
Stephanie – She was rushed to the nearest ER with extreme stomach pain. Thankfully, she checked out OK, but the ER physician prescribed two different medications as a precaution. Knowing a hefty charge for the ER visit was forthcoming, Steph wanted to save as much as possible on the meds. She took out her phone, pulled up our app, and with the doctor found alternatives to the $80 drugs. Combined, they cost her only $5.
Peter – Following injuries from a serious car accident, and once he gained access to Rx Savings Solutions while with a former employer, Peter looked up a specialty pain-relief gel he’d been taking. It was only costing him $20, and at that time, he wouldn’t have received a Savings Notification. But since we also display what the plan pays, Peter was shocked at the number: $1,500. He said the gel delivered only moderate relief, and he would’ve refilled it because it was only $20 to him. Instead, he switched to over-the-counter Aspercreme®, got the same results and saved his employer plan thousands per year. “I wouldn’t want anyone to pay $1,500 for that gel, unless it made the pain miraculously go away,” he said.
Mike – One of Mike’s children’s medications went from $30 to $400 for a 30-day supply. Our system triggered a Savings Alert, sent him a Savings Notification, and he tried a suggested therapeutic alternative, the lowest-cost option he had. It didn’t work out. However, about the same time, he received a Home Delivery Notification we started sending to all members amid the coronavirus outbreak if their prescriptions were eligible for mail-order. He could get the original drug in a 90-day supply for $325. He clicked the Contact Prescriber function, the prescription got transferred, and the move is saving his family $3,500 this year.
For privacy reasons, we only used first names in the above examples, and one is an alias. But Mike allowed us to make an exception. Last name is Rea, as in our founder and CEO. Which just goes to show, even a former retail pharmacist and the creator of Rx Savings Solutions needs our services.
The pharmacy system is too difficult to navigate otherwise. If you’re looking for the best therapies at the lowest costs, there’s simply no other way. Fortunately, we can eat our own dog food. And it always tastes great.