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J.D. Power and Associates Reports: As Consumers Shoulder More Healthcare Expenses, Cost Increasingly Drives Overall Customer Satisfaction With Pharmacies
Date:9/21/2010

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- As consumer healthcare expenses rise, the impact of cost competitiveness on overall pharmacy customer satisfaction has increased considerably from 2009, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. National Pharmacy Study(SM) released today.

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The study, now in its fourth year, measures customer satisfaction with pharmacies in two segments: brick and mortar and mail-order. The study includes chain drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchandisers. Five key factors that contribute to customer satisfaction with brick and mortar pharmacies are examined—prescription ordering and pick-up process; store; cost competitiveness; non-pharmacist staff; and pharmacist—and four factors are measured in the mail-order segment: cost competitiveness; prescription delivery; prescription ordering; and customer service.

The study finds that the importance of cost competitiveness in driving overall satisfaction has more than doubled from 2009 among both brick and mortar and mail-order pharmacy customers. Cost competitiveness accounts for 24 percent of overall satisfaction among brick and mortar customers (vs. 10% in 2009) and for 41 percent among mail-order customers (vs. 19% in 2009).  

"Despite the fact that customer-reported out-of-pocket pharmacy costs remain virtually unchanged from 2009, customers have become notably more sensitive to cost issues in 2010," said Jim Dougherty, director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Consumers are spending more on healthcare expenses in general due to various employer-implemented changes in insurance coverage. High-performing pharmacies aren't necessarily those with the lowest prices. Rather, pharmacies that are focused on service garner the highest levels of satisfaction. Customer service still trumps price, even in an environment where cost has become increasingly important."

According to the J.D. Power Web Intelligence Division, online consumer conversations about brick and mortar pharmacies tend to revolve around good and bad experiences far more often than the cost paid for the prescription, with the primary complaints being unfriendly pharmacy staff, long wait times and prescription mistakes.

Among chain drug store pharmacies, Good Neighbor pharmacy ranks highest with a score of 869 (on a 1,000-point scale). Health Mart (856) and The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy (851) follow in the rankings.

Target ranks highest among mass merchandisers for a fourth consecutive year with a score of 848. Costco and Sam's Club follow in a tie, each with 844.

In the supermarket segment, Publix ranks highest with a score of 862, followed by Wegmans (859) and Winn-Dixie (853).

Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy ranks highest among mail-order pharmacies for a second consecutive year with a score of 854. Express Scripts (830) and Humana RightSourceRx (829) follow in the rankings. The Department of Veterans Affairs pharmacy service, which is open only to veterans of the U.S. military and their families, and therefore is not included in the rankings, also achieves high levels of customer satisfaction.

The study also finds that brick and mortar pharmacy customers who are highly satisfied (scores of 901 or higher) are more than three times more likely to say they "definitely will" return to their pharmacy and 10 times more likely to say they "definitely will" recommend their pharmacy to others, compared to customers with low satisfaction levels (scores of 550 or lower). Based on national average spending by pharmacy customers, a highly satisfied customer may generate $227 in additional prescription revenue each year.

Similarly, compared with less-satisfied customers, highly satisfied mail-order customers are more than twice as likely to return to their pharmacy, and nearly eight times more likely to recommend their pharmacy—resulting in a potential $160 in additional prescription revenue per customer annually.

The 2010 U.S. National Pharmacy Study is based on responses from more than 12,300 customers who filled a new prescription or refilled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period. The study was fielded between May and June 2010.Chain Segment(Based on a 1,000-point scale)Pharmacy

Index score

JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings
For ConsumersGood Neighbor Pharmacy

869

5Health Mart

856

5The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy

851

5Walgreens

807

3Chain Segment Average

805

3Rite Aid Pharmacy

794

3CVS/pharmacy

789

3Duane Reade

688

2Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are Longs Drugs and Medicap Pharmacy.Mass Merchandiser Segment(Based on a 1,000-point scale)Pharmacy

Index score

JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings
For ConsumersTarget

848

5Costco

844

5Sam's Club

844

5Kmart

818

4Mass Merchandiser Segment Average

794

3Walmart

769

2Supermarket Segment(Based on a 1,000-point scale)Pharmacy

Index score

JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings
For ConsumersPublix

862

5Wegmans

859

5Winn-Dixie

853

4Hy-Vee

850

4Hannaford

828

3H.E.B.

824

3Supermarket Segment Average

824

3Jewel-Osco

820

3Ralphs Grocery

819

3Kroger

816

3Albertsons

813

3Fry's Food & Drug Store

810

3Safeway

798

2Stop & Shop

796

2Vons

792

2Giant

791

2Giant Eagle

790

2Mail-order Segment(Based on a 1,000-point scale)Pharmacy

Index score

JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings
For ConsumersKaiser Permanente Pharmacy

854

5Express Scripts

830

4Humana RightSourceRx

829

4Prescription Solutions

824

3Mail-Order Segment Average

814

3Medco

804

3Caremark Mail Service

790

3CIGNA Tel-Drug

783

2Prime Therapeutics

778

2Walgreens Mail Service

757

2Aetna Rx Home Delivery

736

2WellPoint NextRx

735

2Walmart Pharmacy Mail Services

713

2*Department of Veterans Affairs

888

5*The Department of Veterans Affairs pharmacy service is open only to veterans of the U.S. military and their families and therefore is not included in the official rankings.

Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are Drugstore.com and Rite Aid Health Solutions.

About J.D. Power and AssociatesHeadquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.  For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill CompaniesFounded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.  Media Relations Contacts:John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 312-4119; media.relations@jdpa.comJeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8626; jperlman@brandwaregroup.comNo advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate


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SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates
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