Health Insurance

'Google of drugs' helps bring prescription costs down

RxRevu solving biggest health care problem: CEO

A massive prescription database -- dubbed the "Google of pharmaceuticals" -- is hoping it can introduce clarity and transparency to the prescription drugs market and save patients hundreds of dollars every year.

RxRevu is a startup from Denver and is an online database that seeks to ensure patients are not overcharged for prescriptions. Based on three years of efficacy research and seven years of study into doctors' prescribing habits, it helps patients find the cheapest pills available on the market.

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RxRevu claims on its website to be "the most comprehensive data source available today for analyzing the relative cost and quality of medications."

CEO Carm Huntress told CNBC that RxRevu was solving "one of the biggest problems in health care today."

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"There is about $150 billion of waste and so what we do is take anybody's individual drug and dosage and try to optimize it around cost and quality," he said. "Which means we can do simple things like saying go to a different place to get fulfilment, go to a different pharmacy. It could be more complex things, in that there might be another medication that will have the same effectiveness but cost a lot less money."

Huntress argued that RxRevu offered individuals greater transparency, stating that 67 percent of U.S. patients did not even know the cost of their medication until they reached the pharmacy.

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"For us, it's really about driving the conversation and empowering the patient to have an open dialogue with their doctor," Huntress continued. "Affordability is a major issue. About 33 percent of insured individuals in the U.S. are having affordability issues with their prescriptions."

Bringing down the cost of health care for patients has also been a mantra of the six-year-old Barack Obama administration, with the president's signature piece of legislation, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- better known as "Obamacare" -- recently helping 7.1 million people sign up for private insurance coverage.

Speaking after open enrolment closed at the end of March, Obama said: "Under this law the share of Americans with insurance is up, and the growth of health care costs is down. And that's good for our middle class, and that's good for our fiscal future."