New Website Release (v3r4): Adaptive Search is finally here!

We are excited to be able to share the launch of the first “e-commerce style” adaptive search engine in the United States pharmacy industry. This is the first time a pharmacy has offered users the ability to search drug prices by drug name, NDC, manufacturer, condition, clinical data, you name it! We have taken transparency to a new level

Below are some example types of searches you will be able to run on the search engine including not just brand or generic drug names, but health conditions, active ingredients, side effects, etc. We are also working on new ways to categorize and filter the results we serve you.

For example, we have already deployed the following unique filters:

  • Price Per Dose/Pack (Do you want to see capsules that cost 50¢/capsule or $1/capsule?)
  • Unit of Purchase (Do you want to only see Inhalers or Tablets?)
  • Brand/Generic (Do you want to see the generic versions only?)
  • Drug Name (Do you want to see Simvastatin 20mg tablets or 40mg tablets?)
  • Drug Manufacturer (Do you want to see Pfizer or Mylan product?)

We will be adding more filters over time including strength, drug uses, and more!

Search by Manufacturer or NDC:

Using our intelligent search engine you can now search in ways never thought of before with an online pharmacy. For example, you could pick a manufacturer we carry, i.e. by selecting a manufacturer from our recent study on Manufacturers to search our catalog to see what products we carry that are manufactured by them.

Here is the sample search query for drugs manufactured by Pfizer that we sell:

https://www.mailmyprescriptions.com/nsearch/?q=pfizer

And here are the results:

pfizer

Or, if you are interested in looking for a specific product by NDC Code (which are the pharmacy equivalent of “SKUs” issued by the FDA) you can search that way too.

So, for example, here is query string for the NDC code ‘76385011150’: 

https://www.mailmyprescriptions.com/nsearch/?q=76385011150

And, because there was a direct match we were directed to this page: 

https://www.mailmyprescriptions.com/carvedilol-6-25-mg-tablet-generic-coreg.html

76385011150.PNG

Our search engine is quite intelligent and can even recognize a partial NDC code.

For example, here is a partial NDC query for ‘6838‘:

Here is the query string:

https://www.mailmyprescriptions.com/nsearch/?q=6838

And here are the results showing the 3.125mg Tab and the 6.25mg Tab. 

generic coreg partial search.PNG

Known Bugs:

  • Schedule III-V drugs not appearing in results
  • Drugs which we are missing imprint images from the manufacturer are showing as broken images

We will remove the known bugs from this post once resolved.

Dive Deeper: mailmyprescriptions.com releases drug manufacturer data from its’ drug catalog

As the first “e-commerce style” pharmacy experience in the United States we are able to extrapolate data about our “catalog” (our current and past offerings of FDA-approved prescription drugs), unlike any other independently owned pharmacy in the world. To promote transparency in the consumer pharmacy market we will publish certain data about our business from time-to-time.

Background:

As a licensed pharmacy in the United States, mailmyprescriptions.com must adhere to a “chain of custody“. Meaning, that we must purchase our supply of prescription drugs from licensed and VAWD-accredited wholesalers, who in turn purchase their supply of prescription drugs from FDA-approved drug manufacturers before we can sell and dispense them to our patients. We have to be able to obtain and show “pedigree” for our prescription drug supply, which is a statement of origin that identifies each prior sale, purchase, or trade of a drug, including the date of those transactions and the names and addresses of all parties to them.

Transparency:

We believe transparency is an important piece of the “pharmacy experience” that has been missing from the traditional retail pharmacy experience  The wholesalers which we acquire our drug supply from are confidential business relationships that are only disclosed to regulators. However, we do disclose, through our website, our drug catalog, down to the NDC (national drug code) of the FDA-approved prescription drugs we offer. This means you can see not just the manufacturer information, but also a tremendous amount of data about the specific drug you are looking at provided by the manufacturer.

Analysis:

  • 209 Manufacturers
  • 3,191 Drugs (Unique NDC Codes)
  • A single manufacturer represented an average of 0.48% of our total catalog

Dataset:

For the data table please click here to view it on our website.

New Pharmacy Experience Launching: Voice and SMS Adherence Reminders

Relax, it’s getting even easier to refill your prescriptions with mailmyprescriptions.com! This fall we will be launching Voice and SMS Adherence Reminders which, are outbound notifications that you can opt into to get from us when your refills are coming due. We will contact you once our system estimates that you have about two weeks’ of medication left.

We are going to begin reaching out to all of our customers in the coming weeks to update their reminder and notification settings, if they want to participate.

Here is an example of the text message you might get from us when you opt-in to the program:

sms_adherence_mockup

You will be able to choose from three methods to receive your reminders and notifications:

  • Automated Phone Call (Interactive Attendant System)
  • SMS with a link to our new secure refill portal (no call necessary)
  • Email with a link to our new secure refill portal (no call necessary)

You will also be able to opt-in to receive shipment notifications by Voice or SMS, in addition to our current method by email.

Here are some features of our new Interactive Attendant System:

  • Available 24/7/365
  • Check if you have refills available
  • Order refills
  • Initiate renewal of prescription that is out of refills
  • Check the status of a placed order

New Website Release (v3r3): Near real-time drug catalog updates

Faster, faster, faster!

We are now syncing our catalog to our available inventory down to the hour! This is an industry leading standard (by leaps and bounds), however, we are continuing to work towards our goal of “real-time availability” in Q1 of 2019 (more on that later).

What this means is that throughout the day, as we dispense medication, restock our pharmacy shelves (and robots), and as our suppliers’ inventory changes, we will update our catalog of what drugs we have available to sell and dispense that day. If it is not in our catalog then we may still be able to acquire the drug, however, we will have to shop around our suppliers the old fashioned way to get you a price quote.

You see, the point of the timing of our “catalog sync” is that you may see manufacturers and/or NDC codes change throughout the day based on availability. This is our definition of transparency.

Have you ever walked into a pharmacy, waited for 20-minutes to drop off your prescription, only to find out hours later that it will not be available for days, or maybe even at all? Could you imagine having to drive to another pharmacy, and maybe even then another pharmacy? Or worse than driving, waiting on hold for hours at each pharmacy to find a supply? That sounds horrible, which is why it doesn’t happen at mailmyprescriptions.com.

For example, let’s say you are shopping prices for VERAPAMIL ER 120 MG TABLETS. Let’s say you checked this morning, and then came back next week. You may find that we change from…

NDC: 68462029201 by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (imprint below)…

VERAPAMIL ER 180 MG TABLET

to NDC: 57664011688 by Sun Pharmaceuticals (imprint below)…

VERAPAMIL ER 120 MG TABLET

The price would likely still be the same ($0.42/tablet as of 10/08/18) regardless of the change, but our goal is that when you receive your prescription, inside the vial is specifically what you physically saw that you ordered online. For the most part, we have actually benchmarked our drug prices using weighted averages based on the historical average acquisition cost trends from our suppliers, so that you will not see prices fluctuate throughout the day like the stock market during trading hours.

Why getting to real-time is important

Even though we are now accurate down to the hour, things happen. Sometimes we have to substitute a manufacturer in the event of a procurement issue (unless you specifically tell us not to do this).

So, for example, while we may be showing NDC 57664011688 when you checkout, in rare cases you may end up getting NDC 68462029201 because of scenarios such as we did not have the one you purchased on hand (or ran out) and ordered it from our supplier, who in turn oversold it (and thus also ran out), or the shipping carrier had a transit delay (weather phenomenon like hurricanes and blizzards cause these sometimes), or it turns out there is a backorder or drug shortage, etc. either way, we want to be able to get you your prescription within our guaranteed service level time frame. If our cost goes up, which in these types of instances it typically does, it will not affect you.

You see, the problem with introducing an “end to end” pharmacy experience is that traditional brick and mortar retailers, and PBM-owned mail-orders, typically dispense whatever their primary wholesaler provides them that day, or what your insurance requires because of negotiations around rebates and what not.

Think about it… have you ever walked into a pharmacy with a prescription and said I’d like to see what various drugs you stock for this prescription? Nope. They tell you to come back an in an hour and it’ll be ready. That’s that.  But, if you buy everything else this way on the internet, why not your prescription drugs? At mailmyprescriptions.com we’re working on not just changing that experience for customers, but making it transparent and seamless, start to finish.

Other big improvements with r3:

  • Enhanced Package Size Descriptions on Product and Catalog Pages (This is still a work in progress). For example, you can now see the quantity of medication you are getting when we price drugs that come in things such as tubes, bottles, containers, jars, etc.

New Website Release (v3r2): New Mobile Experience Launched!

We have launched a beautiful new dedicated mobile experience today. The new homepage will help first-time shoppers learn more about mailmyprescriptions.com in an easy to digest mobile friendly format, as well as continue to build on our enhanced shopping experience.

New Features:

  • The header is now static throughout the website.
  • Rotating call-outs above the header spotlight our latest promotions.
  • Clicking the ‘mobile menu’ will allow you to browse by drug name still.
  • Throughout the browsing experience, you can easily establish a phone call to our pharmacy by clicking the “CALL OUR PHARMACY” shortcut.
  • Throughout the browsing experience, you can click the search icon to expand a search bar. In October our Adaptive Search engine will be integrated into this search bar.

Check out some screenshots:

This experience is optimized for 16:9 resolutions starting at 1334 x 750 (Apple iPhone Gen 6, Samsung Galaxy 7, etc) however we will continue to optimize the experience for all mainstream mobile devices including tablets (iPads, etc.), e-readers (Amazon Kindles, etc.), and more.

New Website Release (v3r1): New Browsing Experience Launched!

We have launched a new desktop homepage look and feel, new website header design, and a new website footer design to improve our user experience. The design was inspired by both major e-retailers like Amazon, Walmart, etc. and major ‘trusted content sources’ relevant to our demographic. like news websites and AARP. The idea was let’s have a website that is easy to navigate, search-centric, but also has compelling content.

This new design is geared towards the new “browsing experience” (searching and navigating our catalog of drugs) we are rolling out this fall, which will culminate with ‘adaptive search’. Once we finish deploying this new browsing experience we will begin improving our “landing page” experience (catalog pages, product pages, corporate pages). In our next release (v3r2), we will launch a new mobile-only responsive browsing experience.

We will blog about this new experience, and an evolution in our Company mission, in October.

Other big improvements with R1:

  • We have temporarily disabled list price data (AWP, WAC, etc.) and comparisons on product landing pages until our new product landing page design is deployed (Q4 2018)
  • We will no longer show out of stock items in our catalog or search results. If you land on a product page that is out of stock we will ask to automatically redirect to the equivalent in stock item.
  • We now sort our catalog by lowest price.
  • We now only serve our “Browse by Drug Name” experience on our mobile website.
  • We have added “Scheduled drugs” (Schedules III-V) to our website. In order to comply with various state laws and regulations, you will have to add the drug to your cart to see the price. You cannot accrue loyalty points on scheduled drugs.

Our desktop website is tested to work with the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozzila Firefox, and Apple Safari browsers.

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