6. GoodRx

Leading the fight against high prescription drug costs

Founders: Doug Hirsch (co-CEO), Trevor Bezdek (co-CEO), Scott Marlette
Launched: 2011
Headquarters: Santa Monica, California
Valuation: $2.8 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
Artificial intelligence, cloud computing
Health care, insurance

George Kavallines | CNBC

When former Yahoo executive Doug Hirsch needed to fill a prescription in 2010, he was shocked by how much it cost and even more appalled at how difficult it was to comparison-shop for a lower price. The following year, he helped start GoodRx.

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The Santa Monica, California-based company is a free and easy-to-use app and website that lets consumers find and compare prescription prices near where they live and work. The range between prices can be stunningly wide since there's usually a big difference between generic and brand-name drugs, and also because pharmacies negotiate independently with drug makers and insurance companies.

GoodRx partners with major companies such as CVS, Target, Walgreen, Kroger and Walmart, enabling individuals to get real-time prices at 70,000 locations nationwide. The company says consumers can save up to 80% with its free GoodRx Pharmacy Discount Cards and the available coupons on its site, and the company claims that since it began in 2011, it has helped Americans save $10 billion on prescriptions.

In addition to Hirsch, co-founders Trevor Bezdek and Scott Marlette each have extensive technology backgrounds — Bezdek founded several tech companies, and Marlette, an engineer, was an early employee of Facebook. GoodRx's database has 1.2 million real-time prices, and they are constantly being updated to give consumers the best options. The company makes money by the advertisements on its site.

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