This is the second in our three-part blog. As I explained in the first part, I thought I’d explain how we have organized the products on HealthPricer and how that helps you more easily find the exact health products you are looking for. In this part I explain how we arrange and present product variations.

We realize that consumers buying healthcare products have very specific requirements. They may need 30 capsules (or tablets) 10 mg in dosage of a prescription drug, 250 tablets of a supplement or six boxes of contact lenses with a certain colour. In presenting products through HealthPricer we have taken all these variables into account.

For simplicity’s sake and to clearly demonstrate how we present product variations, let’s take our previous example of Acuvue Oasys contact lenses. We’re going to focus on the following areas:

HealthPricer product details and quantity

Let’s start with product details. We’ve taken the time to gather extensive product information on the hundreds of thousands of health products we list. Details such as a description of the product and its purpose, its ingredients, the concentration of each ingredient, what forms that product comes in and regulatory approvals. This is where you can check the product does not contain ingredients you are allergic to, for example.

As you can see on the product details page for Acuvue Oasys, this page provides a description of the contact lenses, the focal strengths and colours it comes in. Here you can see if this type of contact lens is appropriate for you and whether it comes in the colour you want:

Product detail page for Acuvue Oasys

Returning to the results page for Acuvue Oasys. We’ve found it is really hard to work out what merchants provide the best price for different quantities of contact lenses. (This is also typical for online retailers selling supplements, OTC and prescription drugs.) We also realize that consumers may not have the need for 8 boxes of contact lenses, where you get 6 pairs of contact lenses in each box. However, that is what most contact lens stores try to sell you – using mail-in rebates as the marketing hook. We’ve crawled each of our contact lens retailers’ sites for sales of quantities of 2, 4, 6 and 8 boxes of contact lenses. As expected, some merchants provide better prices at 2 and 4 boxes and others at 6 and 8 boxes. This is information that is nearly impossible for anyone to find when comparison shopping by visiting each online contact lens store individually.

To demonstrate the full effort we have put into product variations, we’ll have to look at a different example – in Prescription Drugs. You have been prescribed 84 tablets of Zocor 10 mg by your physician. (If you are interested, Zocor is used in combination with changes in diet to lower blood cholesterol levels.) Online pharmacies provide different quantities of Zocor 10 mg tablets, so it’s difficult to work out which one would give you the best price. We have, therefore, taken the time to compare same quantities and total cost per box, as well as break down the cost to per tablet cost. Below, you will see at Canada Drugs each tablet costs $0.88, whereas at DrugWorldCanada each tablet costs $1.00. We also tell you how each store’s price compares to the same quantity of tablets at the highest price listed through HealthPricer. Below you’ll see at Canada Drugs a 4% saving “when you buy 84 tablets of Zocor 10 mg for $80.96 at Canada Drugs compared to the highest price for 84 tablets at $85.00”.

Search for 84 tablets of Zocor 10 mg through HealthPricer

Now, Zocor also comes in:

We have created separate results pages for each dosage to ensure consumers do not buy the wrong dosage. If you look up “Zocor” only, you will be forwarded to a results page of all dosages that link to the various merchant listings for each.

Next, we look at price. In part three we’ll describe how we provide complete and accurate pricing, i.e. fairness to you, the consumer.