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Using data to save customers money

Avatar By | January 17, 2020

In the SingleCare Spotlight series, we highlight the people who make SingleCare possible. Whether they work to secure the best savings possible with our partner pharmacies or help send you cards through the mail, every employee at our company is focused on helping you save money on prescription medication.

The high cost of prescription drugs is a very real problem in the United States today. And the industry has always been such a black box that it’s hard to understand why. Most of us participate as consumers, but the lack of transparency and jargon make it difficult to understand how the prescription industry works and whether there’s any way to save money.

That’s a large part of what drew me to SingleCare—the opportunity to work on a problem that has such a broad impact. Outside of mail-order, the prescription space hasn’t seen too much disruption in a long time and we have a modern approach for both the cost and access. Our free pharmacy savings card allows consumers to save on their medications, regardless of their insurance status.

A huge part of making drugs more affordable and accessible is providing price transparency for the consumer. Traditionally, consumers had no idea what a prescription would cost them until they got to the register. Most don’t even realize that prices can vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. At SingleCare, we want consumers to have the power to compare medication prices as easily as they can compare toothpaste prices. A market driven by an informed consumer making informed decisions is the first step toward lowering prices.

Another guiding principle is to maximize access to prescription medications that our customers care about. Our data science team analyzes a ton of factors, such as which drugs are popular at which times of the year medications that are commonly purchased together, how prescriptions change based on severity of an illness, and categories of drugs by the condition they treat. Then we build algorithms to determine how we can price drugs to have the highest impact improving consumer access. We want to make sure we always focus our efforts on the drugs that matter most.

I’ve always been interested in the healthcare space. When I was looking around the field for a problem to work on, I found a lot of incredible data science and machine learning work happening in the healthcare diagnostics space, from cancer detection to drug design. But there was seemingly less activity on the operational side, particularly in pharmaceuticals. It’s what got me really interested in the problem that SingleCare is trying to solve—where even small improvements in efficiency in a market this size have a huge effect on consumers.

The data in the healthcare and prescriptions space is incredibly rich and we’ve just scratched the surface of what we can do with it. That is always a fun place to be as a data scientist.