PHARMACY

SlashRx helps bring lower-priced prescriptions to pharmacies

BY DSN STAFF

Pharmacies small and large are looking for any advantage possible to fend off the competition and get consumers to utilize their services. Al Branca, the president of Axe Rx, told DSN that his company’s SlashRx program can help pharmacists be more efficient operators and gain a competitive advantage.

Drug Store News: Tell us about SlashRx.
Al Branca: Our company is one of the nation’s first pharmacy benefit administrators. We own and manage several white-labeled pharmacy discount programs. We are the back-end technology for many online brands and provide sophisticated API’s that power pricing tools and pharmacy locators. SlashRx is one of our flagship brands and is more pharmacy-friendly than most programs as we pay higher dispensing fees and pass through all negotiated discounts to the cardholder.

DSN: What makes the company unique?
AB: First and foremost, we are not a PBM, nor do we act like one. We are a technology company that only operates in the discount card space and not the funded world, so we do not practice the typical bad habits of spread and hidden rebates. We also are segment agnostic, meaning that not only do we provide tremendous savings for the uninsured and underinsured, but even those with prescription benefits can often experience savings by using our program.

DSN: How does the SlashRx program benefit consumers?
AB: We act as a gatekeeper at the pharmacy counter. Our technology exposes not only our negotiated discounted price, but the pharmacy’s cash price as well, and the patient always pays the lesser of the two. In fact, our price is often lower than a generic insurance co-pay. Now that the Trump administration has abolished gag clauses in PBM-Pharmacy, contracts with the signing of the bipartisan “Patient Right To Know Act” and the “Know The Lowest Price Act,” the pharmacy can feel safe letting their patients know that there may be lower cost payment options than their insurance, and no longer have to worry about retribution or breach of contract with PBMs.

DSN: How does the program benefit independent retail pharmacies?
AB: Today, there is a paradigm shift within the pharmacy industry. We are having newfound success partnering with independents and creating for them a frictionless loyalty program so they can compete with national chains and flush out some of the not so pharmacy-friendly programs that put them in the red. This is a new era of self-disruption as pharmacies are now clamoring to become transparent. Even CVS has a new ad campaign describing a “behind-the-counter” discount program.

Listen, pharmacy is a crowded, dog-eat-dog space, so any advantage a pharmacy can gain by being different and helping their patients better afford their needed meds goes a long way with not only retention, but attracting new traffic as well. Our loyalty program also allows independents to process 90-day refills and not lose patients to mail-order programs and keeps them compliant with regard to lowering their U&C. Also, as part of our loyalty program, independent pharmacies earn an additional admin fee per claim regardless of where the transaction occurs.

DSN: What steps does a retail pharmacy need to take to get going with this program? How about costs?
AB: The process is painless and simple. Pharmacies can either fill out a request for contact form or call our Pharmacy Loyalty Hotline at (800) 727-1973, and one of our representatives will send a marketing agreement that spells out the additional compensation per claim. We will also ask for a high-resolution copy of their corporate logo so we can white label their free SlashRx website and provide 5,000 custom branded loyalty cards at no charge. We also will give pointers on best practices and even outside distribution techniques to drive new traffic to the pharmacy. There is no cost to join the program.

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