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New Government Data: Mail-Service Pharmacies Grow, But Public Programs Lag Behind
Date:2/25/2008

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- New, independent government data from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) suggests that while mail-service pharmacies serve a disproportionate share of seniors and individuals with chronic conditions, public programs are not taking full advantage of this increasingly popular and proven cost-saving pharmacy option, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today. At a time when policymakers are seeking public program savings, PCMA believes strongly that the mail-service pharmacy option could be an important tool to achieving greater savings without sacrificing access to needed medications.

"The more consumers know about the savings and convenience of the mail-service pharmacy option, the more they like it. Since public programs lag behind in this area, they should explore new ways to promote this important option," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.

The new mail-service pharmacy data is contained in a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ), entitled Comparing Population Characteristics of Persons Purchasing Prescribed Drugs from Mail Order Pharmacies with Persons Purchasing Prescribed Drugs from Other Outlets, 2005. Among the key findings suggested by the new data:

-- The proportion of individuals relying on a mail-service pharmacy jumped by 50 percent from 2000 to 2005, from 8.8 to 13.2 percent. All other drug-delivery models declined during this time period;

-- Seniors are far more likely to use mail-order pharmacies than the under 65 population;

-- Individuals with at least one chronic condition are far more likely to use mail-service pharmacies than other pharmacy options; and

-- Those individuals relying only on public programs for health coverage lag far behind using mail order, compared to drugstores and other options like clinics and hospitals, suggesting that there is an opportunity
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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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