PCMA: Report Shows High-Tech Specialty and Mail-Service Pharmacies Will Reduce Costs for New York Employers, Consumers and Public Programs by $23 Billion

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Policymakers Must Oppose Mandates that Restrict Employer Choices on Home Delivery

Mail-service and specialty pharmacies will save New York consumers, employers and government health plans $23 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 research includes:

(Click here to read the study; see state-by-state savings here)

  • Mail-service pharmacies will save an estimated $4.4 billion for consumers, employers, and other payers over the 10-year period 2015-2024.
  • Specialty pharmacies will save an estimated $18.6 billion for consumers, employers, and other payers over the 10-year period 2015-2024.
  • Combined, mail-service and specialty pharmacies will save an estimated $23 billion for consumers, employers, and other payers over the 10-year period 2015-2024.

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.”

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