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example, the unpredictable service of the U.S. Post Office and often frequent, yet unforeseeable delays in mail distribution are just a few of the problems. When patients receive prescriptions late, they cannot stop taking the drug altogether while waiting for their prescription to arrive. When faced with this situation, patients are forced to order an “emergency fill” because the prescription failed to arrive in the mail at its promised time. Likewise, this requires the patient to travel to a brick-and-mortar pharmacy. When this occurs, the patient – or the taxpayer – ends up paying twice for same prescription, initially in the mail order and then a second time at a community pharmacy. Concerns over privacy, theft and delivery to incorrect addresses also contribute to problems with mail-order prescription deliveries. Worst of all, mail-order delivery also prompts safety concerns regarding the composition of the medicine. For example, as USA TODAY reported, “Higher temperatures can change the chemical composition of many drugs.”14 The likelihood of prescriptions being exposed to extreme heat or cold increases greatly when delivered by mail. Mail-order versus pharmacist Because the role of a pharmacist is greatly diminished in the business model of PBMs, these corporations often encourage placing profits over professional judgment. Worst of all, this means patient’s needs are set to the side. Many other differences exist between the services pharmacists can offer versus those one finds in mail-order programs. mail-order programs. For starters, patients are less likely to be scammed when they purchase prescriptions at a brick-and-mortar pharmacy. Whereas when one purchases drugs online, ‘rogue’ pharmacies use the Internet to market counterfeit drugs. You could end up with something that doesn’t treat your condition and could harm your health.15 Additionally, patients don’t get the same quality of service with mail order drugs. Only community pharmacies can offer face-to-face consultations including advice and counsel. Not to mention, these pharmacists can build a repertoire with their customers, and likewise are often more in tune to patients’ needs, which also prevents and deters drug abuse. According to a 2012 J.D. Power and Associates survey, “Satisfaction among customers using mail-order pharmacies to fill their prescriptions continues to decline, falling significantly below customer satisfaction with brick-and-mortar pharmacies, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Pharmacy StudySM released today. Overall satisfaction with mail-order pharmacies averages 792 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2012, which is 22 points below the average overall satisfaction score for brick and mortar pharmacies this year, and 14 points lower than in 2011. The brick and mortar segment includes chain drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchandisers. This marks the second consecutive year of significant declines in customer satisfaction with mailorder pharmacies. In contrast, overall satisfaction with brick and mortar pharmacies has held steady year over year, with an average score of 814 in 2012, a slight decrease from 818 in 2011.”16 Whereas brick-and-mortar pharmacies must earn and attract business, mail-order programs have captive consumers, who are likely unable to choose the pharmacy that best meets needs their needs. Given the assurance of guaranteed business, mail-orders have little incentive to place a priority on meeting the needs of their customers. Since they are guaranteed contracts, the mail order companies have no reason to improve or efficiently deal with complaints. 14. Leys, Tony. “Heat wave even takes toll on medications.” USATODAY.COM. Des Moines Register, 26 July 2012. Web. 01 Feb. 2013.<http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-07-26/heat-medications/56500112/1> 15. Barker, Joanne. “Online and Mail-Order Pharmacies: How to Be Safe.” Webmd.com, n.d. Web. <http://www.webmd. com/healthy-aging/features/beyond-the-pharmacy-online-and-mail-order-prescription-drugs> 16. “J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Customer Satisfaction with Mail-Order Pharmacies Trails Satisfaction with Brick and Mortar Pharmacies,” J.D. Power and Associates press release, September 27, 2012, on the J.D. Powers and Associated website, http:// www.jdpower.com/content/press-release/0Un2YoA/2012-u-s-pharmacy-study.htm, accessed February 1, 2013. 23


40113 ChoiceRx ePub long (1)
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