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Study Shows Medicare Savings When Local Pharmacies Fill 90-Day Prescriptions
Date:2/26/2013

y offer expert medication counseling face-to-face, but they also provide affordable access to prescription drugs and are leading the way in the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey , RPh, MBA. "This study blows a huge hole in the PBMs' arguments that more mail order is the right prescription for Medicare Part D savings."

"For policymakers and health plan sponsors, these findings offer several recommendations:

  • "First, allow local pharmacies to fill 90-day prescriptions. Currently, Medicare Part D drug plans are only required to have some retail pharmacies in their networks provide 90-day supplies. Instead of expanding 90-day mail order, as the PBMs would advocate, this study suggests the opposite – that providing 90-day supply at retail is the right policy to save Medicare money. Those plans that rely solely on mail order for 90-day supplies may very well be overpaying for prescription drugs both in terms of total costs and foregone generic drug savings.
  • "Second, do not adopt co-pay levels that incentivize the use of mail order pharmacies based on exaggerated and illusory cost-savings claims. Promoting the use of mail order pharmacies did not save either Medicare or third-party payers one penny, according to this study. Instead, plans should implement neutral co-pay designs that foster competition among all pharmacies based on service, to the benefit of patients.
  • "Third, support patient choice and access to local pharmacies. They offer additional health services like immunizations and make vital contributions to local jobs and tax revenue." '/>"/>

SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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