Blink app is like Groupon for discount Rx drugs
The price of prescription drugs continues to climb for millions of Americans. One-third of consumers saw price increases in their medications between 2013 and 2015, and half of generic drug prices went up, according to a 2015 survey in Consumer Reports. Brothers Matthew and Geoffrey Chaiken hope to ease the financial burden by creating a Groupon-type service for prescription drugs.
Blink Health is a free app and website that provides access to the lowest prices on generic prescription drugs that can be bought at more than 60,000 pharmacies across the country.
Users search for a drug on the website and pay the price listed through the app. Almost half of all the prescription drugs on the website cost less than $10. Then they bring a voucher to their pharmacy of choice to pick up the drug without paying anything else.
"Before Blink, the only thing you couldn't buy on the Internet essentially were prescription meds," Geoffrey Chaiken said on "CBS This Morning." "When things go to the Internet, prices go down and experiences go up."
The service has been compared to Groupon, which became an Internet sensation when it launched in 2008 offering online group discounts for all kinds of products and services. However, in recent years Groupon has run into financial hard times.
Blink Health says it's able to provide the best prices by using technology to group people together and increase collective purchasing power to buy medications at significantly lower prices. The tech startup is also able to aggregate funds from employers, not-for-profits and others to further lower patients' out-of-pocket expenses, the company said.
"The more people that join, the lower the prices will get," he added. The company has contracts with pharmacy chains across the country to honor Blink's prices so customers can continue to pick up their prescriptions from a trusted pharmacist in their neighborhood.
The Blink Health app is free and can be downloaded on smartphones and at blinkhealth.com.
The website launched in beta in the fall of 2015 and already has thousands of users getting prescriptions at discounted prices. For example, 10mg generic Lipitor, the popular cholesterol-lowering drug, costs as little as $8 through Blink Health. One such user is the brothers' father.
"Our father actually takes Lipitor. He's now buying it with Blink Health," Matthew Chaiken said. "He has the best insurance you can find and he's still saving 50 percent on his medication."
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