GoodRx has been focused on helping Americans for more than 6 years. This month, as hurricanes hit Florida and Texas, we realized that our mission to help goes beyond healthcare, and we wanted to do our part to help.
A few days after Hurricane Harvey, we sent members of the GoodRx team to Houston to help relief efforts. GoodRx employees spent the night NRG Stadium, a massive shelter in Houston. The following day, our team visited local shops and markets in affected areas, paying for food and prescriptions for local Houston residents. You can read more on how #GoodRxHelps Houston here and here.
Just one week later, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean and Florida. GoodRx pledged to make a significant donation to help those affected by Hurricane Irma, but we asked for your help. We asked visitors to GoodRx.com which charities they though most deserved assistance, and we received hundreds of responses.
GoodRx is sending $5,000 donations to 3 charities that were selected by you. To learn more about these charities or make your own donation, see below:
ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The ASPCA transported sheltered animals out of Irma’s path before the storm, and are now working hard to find and help abandoned and injured animals in the aftermath. They are also continuing efforts in Texas post-Harvey.
ShelterBox USA. ShelterBox provides everything from supplies like water and blankets to tents and more—that can help make cramped shelter quarters bearable, and help people who’ve been displaced by disasters. They are on the ground in the Caribbean, and still working in Texas.
MedShare. MedShare is coordinating with local medical organizations in Florida and the Caribbean to get medical supplies and equipment to those in need after the storm. They are also continuing efforts and coordination with charities in Texas.
With millions still without power in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, an enormous amount of rebuilding ahead for Texas and the islands in the Caribbean—and now, the potential for more trouble from Hurricane Maria—there’s still so much to do. We want to thank you for helping us continue to make a difference. We’ll continue to do everything we can to help Americans in any capacity we can.
GoodRx wants to help Americans in need. Last week, we deployed a team of employees to Houston to help locals clean up and get their prescriptions. Unfortunately, another hurricane is coming—this time to Florida—and we can’t just sit on the sidelines.
For every new download of the iOS or Android GoodRx mobile apps on Monday, September 11th, and Tuesday, September 12th, GoodRx will donate a $1 to charities that will be helping victims of Hurricane Irma.
Which charities should we help?
We want your help to decide which charities most deserve our money. We expect to raise thousands of dollars, and we’d like to give it to the charities that GoodRx customers feel are best. Please post your recommendations in the comments.
Download the GoodRx mobile app for iOS or Android now to help Irma victims.
Terms and conditions
Update: as of Friday, September 8, hurricane warnings and watches have been extended up Florida’s east and west coasts, with the storm expected to impact the Florida Keys starting early Sunday morning. Stay safe!
As Hurricane Irma heads towards Florida, it’s important to know that Florida passed a state law in 2006 that allows for early prescription refills in any county that is under a hurricane warning.
What does this law do?
Most insurance policies will not pay for prescription fills until a few days before your prior prescription is supposed to run out. For example, if you have a 30-day prescription and you filled it on March 1, most insurance policies will not let you refill that prescription until close to the end of March—perhaps the March 26th or 27th in our example. If you attempt to fill your prescription prior to that time, your insurance company will not cover it and you’ll be forced to pay a much higher price.
This Florida law mandates that insurance companies need to allow an early 30-day fill in any county where a hurricane warning has been declared. The goal of the law is to ensure that people do not run out of important prescriptions during and after a hurricane impacts the area.
How do I get an early refill?
If you have important meds and you have less than a 2 week supply, now’s the time to act. Call your local pharmacy and check with them to ensure that you’ll be able to fill your prescription. Keep in mind that you’ll need to have available refills on that prescription, and also note that controlled substances may have additional restrictions.
Other ways you can fill a prescription early
If a hurricane warning hasn’t yet been declared or if you’re having issues with your insurance at the pharmacy, you may want to consider using a GoodRx discount instead.
If your insurance won’t cover a prescription, you will be paying a MUCH higher price—often 10 times what your co-pay would be. GoodRx coupons can provide discounted prices that may be similar to your co-pay. With GoodRx there are no early refill restrictions. Please note that most pharmacies have their own restrictions regarding quantities and refills – you’ll want to check with the store.
My pharmacist hasn’t heard about this law—tell me more
Here’s the full text of the law, as well as a link to the official Florida legislature website where it is posted. We hope this helps.
Emergency-preparedness prescription medication refills.—All health insurers, managed care organizations, and other entities that are licensed by the Office of Insurance Regulation and provide prescription medication coverage as part of a policy or contract shall waive time restrictions on prescription medication refills, which include suspension of electronic “refill too soon” edits to pharmacies, to enable insureds or subscribers to refill prescriptions in advance, if there are authorized refills remaining, and shall authorize payment to pharmacies for at least a 30-day supply of any prescription medication, regardless of the date upon which the prescription had most recently been filled by a pharmacist, when the following conditions occur:
(1) The person seeking the prescription medication refill resides in a county that:
(a) Is under a hurricane warning issued by the National Weather Service;
(b) Is declared to be under a state of emergency in an executive order issued by the Governor; or
(c) Has activated its emergency operations center and its emergency management plan.
(2) The prescription medication refill is requested within 30 days after the origination date of the conditions stated in this section or until such conditions are terminated by the issuing authority or no longer exist. The time period for the waiver of prescription medication refills may be extended in 15- or 30-day increments by emergency orders issued by the Office of Insurance Regulation.
This section does not excuse or exempt an insured or subscriber from compliance with all other terms of the policy or contract providing prescription medication coverage. This section takes effect July 1, 2006.
Nobody ever said doing good deeds would be easy.
As we watched Hurricane Harvey bear down on Texas last week, we knew that GoodRx needed to do something to help. Houston is the fourth largest city in the USA and many people who live in the area struggle to afford their prescriptions—and that was before a major hurricane. We desperately wanted to help, even if we’re not experts on disaster assistance.
On Wednesday, we came up with a simple plan: GoodRx would go to Houston, volunteer at a shelter, and pay 100% of the cost of prescriptions and basic necessities for as many people in need as we could reach.
We immediately realized some of our biggest challenges. The airport was closed. Hotels were booked . . . or just closed. No rental cars were available and ground transportation is limited. Undeterred, we bought plane tickets to arrive in Houston on Sunday. We had a basic plan and would figure out the details upon arrival.
The night shift: volunteering at NRG Center shelter
After a very early flight from Los Angeles, we arrived in Houston and immediately headed for NRG Center, one of the largest shelters helping individuals and families in the Houston area. The shelter had recently received supplies and generous donations from all over the country.
NRG has welcomed thousands of people since Hurricane Harvey hit. This huge shelter has separate areas for single women, families, single men, and pets. Guests are fed and provided clothing, basic necessities and inflatable beds or cots to sleep in. Police and medical staff are also available to assist.
Team GoodRx volunteered in the “department store,” where clothing donations are distributed to shelter guests. Many of these people were evacuated because they were in the path of the hurricane or resulting floods.
We spent all of Sunday night working at the shelter. Over the course of the night, we met many wonderful people, including local volunteers who offered us rides, a place to sleep, and more after they learned we had flown into Houston to help.
When our shift ended at 5 am the next morning, we went to a friend’s house to get a brief rest before the next part of our relief efforts.
“GoodRx pays for your prescriptions and groceries”
A few hours later, we headed to southwest Houston, an area that had been hit pretty hard (as we learned the night before). We found many stores that were closed, had no power, or had very limited supplies.
A Kroger in southwest Houston was one of the few open stores. We approached Adrian, the pharmacist on duty, and asked if we could pay for people’s prescriptions that day. No strings attached. (It’s important to note that at no time did we use or promote GoodRx discounts; that’s not what this trip was about.)
Adrian was happy to have us help, and together, we began paying for people’s prescriptions. We literally just swiped our business and personal credit and debit cards to pay for as many people as possible. Adrian called patients who had left earlier because they could not afford their prescriptions and asked them to return because he had a “nice surprise” for them. We met a mother whose house had suffered significant roof damage, a father with a son in the ICU, a grandmother, and dozens of others.
All in all, we managed to help hundreds of people in just a short time in Houston. Everyone we met was so hopeful, appreciative of our efforts, and receptive. We were so humbled by the dedication of the volunteers and the positive spirit of the community.
Our trip to Houston was one way for us to give back. Now, we’re looking at other ways we can expand #GoodRxHelps to have a greater impact at the community level.
For more information on how you can help the Houston area, see our previous article.
At GoodRx, we’ve spent the last 6 years trying to do one thing—make prescriptions more affordable for Americans. We’re proud to say that we’ve helped millions of Americans save more than $2 billion, but that’s just a beginning—after all, Americans spend more than $400 billion on prescriptions each year!
Prescriptions – especially brand-name drugs—remain too expensive for most Americans. Recent changes to insurance plans and laws always seem to end up leaving you, the patient, paying more.
GoodRx finds discounts that can dramatically reduce the cost of generics—often 80% or more—but reducing the cost of brand-name drugs is much harder. Unlike generics, most brand-name drugs are only made by one manufacturer—often a company that has spent huge sums to bring that drug to market – and without competitive forces in place, it can be hard to find discounts.
With the collective bargaining power of millions of Americans behind us, GoodRx began talking to Express Scripts (the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager), drug manufacturers and major pharmacies to see if we could work together to bring down the high cost of prescriptions.
Today, we’re proud to announce a partnership with Inside Rx, a new subsidiary of Express Scripts, that reduces the cost of more than 40 popular brand-name drugs by an average of 34% off the retail price. Included on the list are Proair, Lantus, Humalog and many other popular prescriptions that treat diabetes, asthma, COPD and other conditions. On average, these discounts will provide savings of about $1,600 per year.
The discounts are easy to use—just search for your drug and print out the discount. It’s 100% free—there are no forms, paperwork, or sign-up required. These discounts work at most major pharmacy chains, and we’ll be adding many more drugs and new discounts over the coming months.
There are a few restrictions attached to these discounts—you can learn more in our FAQ. Also note that if you have insurance, you may also want to consider manufacturer co-pay programs—just click on the Savings Tips tab after you search for a drug to see which option will save you the most. On the Savings Tips page, we also list patient assistance programs and other valuable savings tips.
To learn more about this program, check out www.goodrx.com/brand, which lists all of the covered drugs and provides more details.
We’re excited about the GoodRx / Insider Rx partnership, and we think it’s a good start towards reducing the cost of brand-name prescriptions. However, even with these new discounts, many brand-name drugs are still hundreds or thousands of dollars, and that’s simply too much. We won’t rest until every American can afford the prescriptions they need to stay healthy.