Pharmaceutical-cost-transparency startup GoodRx is now looking to the testing space with the launch of its new lab market place. Customers can now to do a price comparison across tests that cover everything from STI to COVID-19 testing and pregnancy too celiac.
So far, the company has teamed up with 10 lab-testing providers. Once a customer has entered the condition they would like to be tested for, the platform brings up a list of names of the lab providers, the price, the testing location and what type of samples are required.
The platform offers two forms of coronavirus testing, one if it is an active virus, and the other form is a serology test to see if the patient has the antibodies. Currently the platform lists Quest Diagnostics as the antibody test and LabCorp’s Pixel as the active infection kit.
This comes just a month and a half after the company announced that it was launching a telehealth marketplace, where users could enter the symptoms they wanted addressed and were then giving a list of service options and prices.
WHY IT MATTERS
It’s hard to deny that with the consumerization of healthcare has changed the way patients seek treatment options. As the coronavirus pandemic rages on we’ve seen a rise of user numbers in digital health tools. GoodRx is pitching this new tool as a way to give patients options in lab testing.
“We know COVID-19 lab testing is top of mind for many Americans right now,” Doug Hirsch, co-CEO and cofounder of GoodRx, said in a statement. “Patients will benefit from a better understanding of the quickly changing lab options available to them and the associated costs across a range of conditions. With both the telehealth and labs marketplaces, we are helping millions of Americans find affordable care without having to leave their homes.”
THE LARGER TREND
Testing for the coronavirus has been a hot topic in the pandemic. Currently the United States has the most active coronavirus cases in the world. However, our rate of tests per 1,000 people falls behind other countries like Italy, New Zealand and Denmark, according to Oxford University’s Our World in Data.
But when it comes to coronavirus testing, there has been much confusion and skepticism.
The antibody tests have been controversial. Many in the science community have asked questions about the accuracy of antibody tests. And in early April, at least one company mistook its response from the agency as an EUA and falsely marketed its service. Later that month Cellex landed the first green light for serology tests.
At-home tests for the active virus have also had hiccups. In mid-March, an ambiguous guidance update from the agency saw a number of home-testing companies and telehealth providers scramble to announce mail-order COVID-19 testing services that, within days, were rescinded after the FDA clarified its stance against at-home offerings. LabCorp’s COVID-19 RT-PCR test became the first diagnostic test for COVID-19 that permits at-home sample collection.