News and Commentary

Would IRP Make Plans Chirp Over Savings?


The chairman of Rx.com has suggested a third form for prescription reimbursement: Internet Retail Pharmacy, or IRP. Joe Rosson says such a category would save money for health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, and self-funded employers, which reimburse online drug sellers on the same basis as retail pharmacies.

Third-party payers negotiate separate rates for retail and mail order pharmacies. Rosson says IRP would fall somewhere between the two, pointing out that Internet operations have lower operating costs than stores while offering more health-related services than typical mail order facilities.

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