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.

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