Although pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs—often the company who’s name or logo is on your prescription drug card. Common names are CVS-Caremark, Medco, and Express Scripts) have repeatedly promoted the idea that mail order pharmacies save patients money, there have been no peer reviewed studies justifying that claim. Community pharmacies have consistently illustrated their ability to help patients take their medicines properly, lower overall health-care costs, and in many cases to provide prescription drugs at a lower price than what is charged by competing mail order pharmacies.
Overwhelmingly, 83% of customers prefer to fill their prescription at a community pharmacy rather than a mail order pharmacy when given the choice, and 72% of customers oppose mandatory mail order plans. In fact, in instances where captive mail order pharmacies and community pharmacies have been allowed to compete on an even playing field patients overwhelmingly have chosen their community pharmacist. Opinion polling has also demonstrated that half of consumers feel that they are more likely to make mistakes when taking medications obtained through mail order, than through a community pharmacy.
If you being forced to buy your prescriptions by mail order instead of your local pharmacy please contact your employer with these letters. Click here if you have already been forced to use mail order, click here if your insurance will require mail order soon.
Many prescriptions are vulnerable to temperature extremes. One study revealed that a commonly used asthma medication lost more than half its potency after being kept for just four hours in conditions akin to a mailbox on a hot day.
The proper use of prescription drugs and drug adherence is also a concern when discussing drug safety. Community pharmacists decrease the need for more inconvenient and costly hospitalizations and physician services. According to one recent study, adverse drug events cost our nation $173 billion a year. Pharmacists have demonstrated their ability under simulated testing to catch and prevent such medical errors, saving patients from serious threats to their health and higher medical expenses in the long term. PBMs say that customers can call an 800 number—at call centers that are sometimes in the United States and sometimes on foreign soil--to talk to someone about their mail order prescription. Eventually your call might get routed to a pharmacist but is most likely to be fielded by someone who is not a healthcare professional. When it comes to your health, wouldn’t you rather talk with someone you know and trust who knows you and is a part of your community?
Experiencing problems with mail order pharmacy? Contact your lawmaker here.
Take a look at some videos about mail order pharmacy by clicking here.
Read frequently asked questions and answers about mail order pharmacy here.
For more information click here to join our monthly newsletter.
Home | Issues | Resources | Legislative Action Center | Pharmacy Locator | Newsletter Signup