Startup Oration Simplifies Shopping for Prescription Drugs

This type of pricing transparency in the prescription medication business has not been made available previously.

Oration, a cloud-based startup whose service has nothing to do with speechmaking but everything to do with efficient shopping for prescription-based medications, launched a mobile platform for its users on Dec. 16.

The Foster City, Calif.-based company, which is focused on helping enterprise employees through their health care insurance plans, introduced OrationRx, which it positions as a software service that enables employees to manage prescriptions, purchase the cheapest drugs and improve the pharmacy experience from beginning to end—all from their mobile devices.

This type of pricing transparency in the prescription medication business has not been made available previously for corporate employees. LowestMed, for consumers only, was launched in 2012.

The platform uses a layer of business intelligence that identifies prescription prices and availability in a geographic area. It then enables patients to choose and order them on the spot, saving themselves and their employers both time and potentially thousands of dollars each year, the company said.

About $370 billion is spent annually for prescription drugs in the U.S. alone. According to Express Scripts, $93.1 billion of prescription drug spend could have been saved if patients had price-shopped between pharmacies, the company said.

Express Scripts Holding Co. is the largest pharmacy benefit management organization in the United States, with 2013 revenues of $104.62 billion.

Until now, however, patients did not have access to pricing information when making a decision on filling their prescription. Oration's service enables employees to quickly view the best drug-purchasing options based on cost and personal convenience, as they do with any other purchasing decision. The added benefit is that they also can choose where to purchase their medications via their mobile devices.

OrationRx is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that can be deployed immediately with minimal HR resources, the company said. The solution is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant and secure, the company said.

Early adopters include a number of large employers, including Workday, Young's Market and Peterson CAT, a large dealer of Caterpillar construction equipment.

Oration also announced Dec. 16 that it has secured $11.2 million in Series A funding in a round led by DFJ Venture, Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Chicago Ventures, Data Collective and Work-Bench, Arsenal Venture Partners, TiE Angels and various other individuals.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...