Santa Monica-based prescription drug comparison pricing platform company GoodRx Holdings Inc. on March 7 announced that it has agreed to acquire prescription technology and services platform vitaCare Prescription Services from Boca Raton, Florida-based women’s health care company TherapeuticsMD Inc. for $150 million in cash.
The acquisition is expected to close in the middle of the year.
VitaCare’s platform helps patients navigate key access and adherence barriers for brand medications. Specifically, vitaCare helps patients understand coverage and identify available savings opportunities, and facilitates communications between providers and payors. The platform is used by a network of third-party pharmacies, allowing patients a direct path for filling prescriptions.
In many ways, this is similar to the comparison price shopping platform service that GoodRx offers, especially with GoodRx’s network of more than 70,000 pharmacies.
But there’s one key difference: vitaCare focuses exclusively on brand name medications, while GoodRx has focused primarily on generic medications, though it has increasingly reached out to pharmaceutical companies.
“Over the past decade, GoodRx has helped millions of Americans afford generic medications, but brand medications remain too expensive for too many people,” Doug Hirsch, co-chief executive and co-founder of GoodRx, said in the acquisition announcement. “Pharma manufacturers want to help patients find affordable options but too many consumers still face affordability challenges or complex reimbursement processes.”
Hirsch went on to say, “With vitaCare, we aim to grow our reach and provide new tools for both consumers and providers to help ensure that more patients can access relevant savings programs and navigate prior authorization requirements.”
The acquisition is also expected to provide a boost for GoodRx’s pharma manufacturer solutions business, which consists mainly of marketing agreements with pharmaceutical companies and patient adherence programs conducted on behalf of the manufacturers. According to GoodRx’s fourth quarter and full year 2021 earnings report released Feb. 28, this business line grew four-fold in revenue in 2021 and comprises the bulk of the company’s “other revenue” of $92.1 million.
Overall, that earnings report fell short of Wall Street expectations, especially with regard to earnings guidance for this year. That guidance gave a forecast revenue increase of 23% this year, compared to the 35% actual increase for 2021. Hirsch said in comments to analysts following the earnings release that this was due in part to the impact of Covid: specifically, consumers reducing doctor visits for non-Covid ailments. Fewer doctor visits translates directly into fewer prescriptions.
This acquisition announcement would have been expected to provide a positive counterpoint to the earnings release. But investors didn’t see it that way, sending GoodRx shares down 10% to $14.39 a share on March 7. Some of that drop was due to a sharp decline in overall market trading that day, led by a 3.6% drop for the Nasdaq exchange that GoodRx stock trades on.