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Drugstore Lobby Poll of Seniors: Mail-Service Pharmacies Cost Less than Community Drugstores

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A drugstore lobby poll finds by a 3-1 margin (51-17), that seniors agree mail-service pharmacies cost less than community drugstores, raising questions as to why Medicare Part D restricts the use of 90-day home delivery. Unlike Medicare, the use of mail-service pharmacy is encouraged in FEHBP plans, TRICARE, Fortune 500 retiree plans, and other popular programs.

"When the drugstore lobby admits that mail-service pharmacies cost less than local drugstores, it's time to remove Medicare barriers that keep seniors from accessing home delivery," said Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt . "Removing Medicare's restrictions on home delivery and encouraging beneficiaries to get refills of maintenance medications by mail would also reduce hospital and physician costs by improving adherence to chronic medications."

Currently, beneficiaries in private-sector retiree plans use home delivery four times more often than those in Part D plans. Nearly eight-out-of-ten small businesses want to be able to continue offering discounts that encourage employees to use mail-service pharmacy and consumers who use home delivery are strongly satisfied with it.  Mail-service pharmacies offer patients private counseling over the phone from trained pharmacists seven days a week, 24-hours a day.

In addition to greater convenience, mail-service pharmacies can save Medicare seniors, employers, unions, government employee plans, consumers, and other commercial-sector payers $46.6 billion in prescription drug costs over the next ten years, according to a recent study. Compared to brick-and-mortar drugstores, mail-service pharmacies offer deeper discounts and reduced copays.  (click here to read more about mail-service pharmacies)

  • Mail-service pharmacies save Medicare seniors, consumers and payers an average of 15% on 90-day prescriptions compared to 90-day prescriptions obtained at brick-and-mortar drugstores.
  • Mail-service pharmacies save Medicare seniors, consumers and payers an average of $22 per 90-day prescription compared to the same prescription obtained at a drugstore.

PCMA represents the nation's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which improve affordability and quality of care through the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), generic alternatives, mail-service pharmacies, and other innovative tools for 210-plus million Americans.

SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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