U.S. citizens reportedly spend much more per capita on healthcare than residents of any other comparable nation, so it’s no surprise that many Americans are trying to find ways to cut down on healthcare costs.
That’s where pharmacy discount sites like GoodRx come in, providing coupons that lop off some of the often exorbitant costs of prescription drugs. For its part, GoodRx says it subsists on ad revenue, providing the coupons to customers for free.
But how many Americans are using these services? In a CivicScience study of more than 1,400 U.S. adults in July, more than one in five respondents said they’d either used the services already or planned to do so.
The most surprising finding of this study? Millennials were more likely to have used and liked pharmacy discount sites than any other age group. After all, one’s likelihood of taking multiple prescription drugs increases steadily with age. Overall, 25% of Millennials surveyed said they’d either used these sites already or were planning to do so.
Interestingly, income was not a strong indicator for use of pharmacy coupon sites. It seems that trying to save money on prescription drugs is appealing to all income brackets. It’s a different story with gender, though:
Women were much more likely than men to have heard of these websites and much more likely to use them or plan to use them. Women also tend to say that they handle their families’ healthcare decisions more often than men, which could play a role in this finding.
Medicare Enrollees Aren’t Particularly Interested
Interestingly, Americans who are enrolled in Medicare were not any more likely to have tried or liked these services than those who aren’t enrolled. Medicare beneficiaries were actually about 18% more likely to say they aren’t interested in GoodRx and similar sites.
People who say they struggle to pay for other health expenses — namely, doctor visits — use GoodRx and other prescription discount sites at a much higher rate than those who can pay for checkups. Unfortunately for this population, people who can’t afford doctor visits were also nearly 40% more likely to be unaware of these services.
Almost Everyone Worries About Rx Prices
The fairly high level of interest in pharmacy discount sites points to a broader concern over the price of prescription drugs in general in America. A majority of respondents said they were “very concerned” about prescription drug costs, and only 12% said they weren’t concerned at all.
In general, a person’s concern over drug prices decreased as their household income increased. And the younger a respondent was, the more likely they were to say that they weren’t concerned.
The study found that those who have insurance through government-affiliated programs (such as Medicare, Medicaid, and “Obamacare” insurance exchanges) were more likely to be concerned over drug prices than people who have health insurance provided by an employer.
And understandably, a person’s level of concern over drug prices increased steadily along with the number of times they’d seen a health professional in the past year. Only 2% of respondents who’d seen health professionals six or more times in the past year said they weren’t concerned about the cost of drugs.
Clearly, concern over prescription drug prices in America is intense and widespread. Sites like GoodRx have capitalized on that concern while providing some relief for a portion of the population. Opportunities for growth remain among key demographics, though — particularly among men, Medicare beneficiaries, and the 24% of Americans who say they have avoided seeing doctors due to cost.