Online pharmacy startup launches prescription subscriptions

An online pharmacy that isn't yet a year old introduced a new option for its customers July 18: Pay $10 a month for an unlimited number of prescriptions. 

DiRx, pronounced "directs," launched in October 2021 with the aim of offering low-cost drugs for uninsured and underinsured Americans. With its new subscription model — which the company says is the first of its kind in the U.S. — DiRx plans to simplify the process. 

For an annual fee of $119, customers can access more than 500 drugs in "tier one." The second tier costs $299 a year, equal to $25 a month, for access to more than 1,000 drugs. There are no caps to either option. 

"The beauty of this is, let's say a couple months later, they go to the doctor and the doctor adds another prescription. As long as it's within that tier, it's free. There's no extra cost," DiRx founder and CEO Satish Srinivasan told Becker's. "We want to change the conversation away from how much does each medication cost, where do I go, [what's the] price comparison."

Mr. Srinivasan, who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 25 years, said the program can still make money since DiRx buys directly from generic manufacturers and doesn't rely on pharmacy benefit managers, which have been criticized  for years over murky business practices

Without third-party pharmacy benefit managers, he said, "It's so simple."

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