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Medicare Analysis Finds Mail Order Pharmacies Often More Expensive than Community Pharmacies
Date:12/3/2013

r sponsor of a health care plan that blindly accepts the recommendations of PBMs when it comes to drug benefit design and incentivizing mail order utilization," said National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA.  "Mail order is not for everyone and its appeal as a cost-saver is severely undermined by Medicare's analysis. Instead, health plans should allow patients to choose the pharmacy that best meets their health needs and helps them get the most out of their prescription drug regimen."

The CMS analysis comes on the heels of an earlier 2013 study by the agency finding that prescriptions filled at "preferred pharmacies" sometimes result in higher costs to Medicare than prescriptions filled at non-preferred pharmacies, such as independent community pharmacies left out of the preferred network. NCPA continues to advocate that any pharmacy willing to accept a health plan's terms and conditions, including reimbursement, should be allowed to do so and serve the plan's patients.

Moreover, an independent analysis of millions of 2010 Medicare prescription drug event records found that community pharmacies provide 90-day medication supplies at lower cost than mail order pharmacies and that local pharmacists substitute lower-cost generic drugs more often when compared to mail order pharmacies.

In addition, a first-of-its-kind patient survey, Medication Adherence in America: A National Report Card, finds that the biggest predictor of patients properly taking their prescribed drugs (or medi
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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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