ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Some common patient complaints regarding mail-order pharmacies and their captive consumers’ lack of choice to switch to another pharmacy if they encounter poor service are highlighted in a new video released Wednesday by the National Community Pharmacists Association.
The short feature entitled “Mail Order Madness” touches on several concerns that patients have voiced to pharmacists and elsewhere regarding mail-order pharmacy: unsatisfactory customer service; wasteful “auto-shipping” of medication even when a prescription has changed or is no longer needed; and the wait for prescriptions to be processed and mailed (or sometimes lost in the mail or misdelivered).
The video is available for viewing at www.whorunsmydrugplan.com – NCPA's website that educates health plan sponsors and patients about how the cost and value of their prescription benefit can be negatively impacted by middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers, which often also own mail-order pharmacies.
“The point of this video is simple: Patients need and deserve the ability to choose a pharmacy in their health plan that best meets their needs and those of their family for quality, convenience and cost-effective care,” NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey said. “Surveys indicate that the vast majority of patients prefer to use a local pharmacy for a face-to-face health care experience. The choice of going to your local pharmacy or using mail-order pharmacy is a decision that should be left to patients because mail order is not for everyone. Unfortunately, mandatory mail-order plan designs limit patients to one pharmacy. Unlike a community pharmacy where patients can ‘vote with their feet,’ mail order’s captive customers have no ability to go anywhere else.”