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PCMA: Report Shows High-Tech Specialty and Mail-Service Pharmacies Will Reduce Costs for North Carolina Employers, Consumers and Public Programs by $10.1 Billion
Date:2/19/2015

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mail-service and specialty pharmacies will save North Carolina consumers, employers and government health plans $10.1 billion over the next decade, according to research released by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA).

"Home delivery of prescription refills offers employers one of the easiest ways to reduce health costs and improve patient satisfaction," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. "Policymakers should resist drugstore-lobby mandates that restrict employers' ability to choose home delivery."

The 90% satisfaction rate for mail-service pharmacies shows patients want the same, Amazon.com-style home delivery options in health care that they enjoy in the rest of the economy. Furthermore, high-tech specialty pharmacies play a critical patient-safety role because many traditional drugstores are not equipped to administer complex specialty medications.

Major findings from the new study from Visante include:
(Click here to read the study; see state-by-state savings here )

  • Mail-service pharmacies will save an estimated $1.9 billion for consumers, employers, and other payers over the 10-year period 2015-24.
  • Specialty pharmacies will save an estimated $8.2 billion for consumers, employers, and other payers over the 10-year period 2015-24.
  • Combined, mail-service and specialty pharmacies will save an estimated $10.1 billion for consumers, employers, and other payers over the 10-year period 2015-24.

The study highlights several benefits of mail-service pharmacies, including:

  • Superior safety as opposed to brick-and-mortar drugstores;
  • Encouraging generic drug use;                                     
  • Improving patient adherence;
  • Offering patients access to 24/7 counseling and support; and
  • Minimizing "waste" that occurs at drugstores.

The study also details the increasing importance and advantages of specialty pharmacies. Specialty pharmacies must meet many requirements to effectively handle injectable biologic medications that often require special handling, clinical protocols, and can cost many thousands of dollars per dose.

A national survey of physicians who prescribe specialty medications found that just 5% believe that all drugstores "have the expertise and capability to provide the different types of specialty medications to patients."  In addition, a recent report on specialty pharmacies notes that "specialty drugs require a level of experience and expertise that most drugstores simply do not possess."

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 215 million Americans.

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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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