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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

PCMA: Mail-Service Pharmacies Will Save Pennsylvania Consumers and Payers $2 Billion Over the Next Decade

February 22, 2012

New Prescription Drug Tax Would Increase Rx Costs by More Than $570 Million

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Mail-service pharmacies will save Pennsylvania consumers, employers, unions, the state government, and other commercially-insured payers $2 billion in prescription drug costs over the next ten years, according to new research released by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA).

New legislation (PA HB 511/SB 201) would grant special protections for drugstores by prohibiting consumers from getting discounted prescriptions through mail-service pharmacies. If Pennsylvania were to enact this anti-mail-service-pharmacy legislation, prescription drug costs for fully-insured in-state health plan sponsors and their enrollees could increase by more than $570 million over the next ten years.

“In this economy, consumers and payers need every cost saving tool they can get and mail-service pharmacy is at the top of the list,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. “This bill is a prescription drug tax that will raise health care costs for small businesses, unions, government agencies, and consumers.”

Click here to read the new research.

Major findings on mail-service savings from the new research include:

Compared to brick-and-mortar drugstores, mail-service pharmacies offer deeper discounts and reduced copays.

  • Mail-service pharmacies will save Pennsylvania consumers, employers, unions, the state government, and other commercially-insured payers $2 billion in prescription drug costs over the next ten years.
  • Mail-service pharmacies save consumers and payers an average of 15% on 90-day prescriptions compared to 90-day prescriptions obtained at brick-and-mortar drugstores.
  • Mail-service pharmacies save consumers and payers an average of $22 per 90-day prescription compared to the same prescription obtained at a drugstore.

Major findings on the cost of restrictions on mail-service pharmacies include:

When state or federal laws or regulations place restrictions or prohibitions on the use of mail-service pharmacies, savings are threatened:

  • If Pennsylvania were to enact anti-mail-service-pharmacy legislation, prescription drug costs for fully-insured in-state health plan sponsors and their enrollees could increase by more than $570 million over the next ten years.
  • State laws or regulations that place restrictions on how in-state insurers can use mail-service pharmacies can decrease mail-service pharmacy use – and savings – by more than 50% for plan sponsors.

Across the country, all types of pharmacies – including independents – are filling an increasing number of prescriptions, indicating broad consumer access to all pharmacies and no rationale for restrictions on mail-service pharmacies.

Home delivery is popular with patients because it offers 90-day prescriptions that are less expensive and is more convenient than driving to the drugstore. Nearly eight-out-of-ten small businesses want to be able to continue offering discounts that encourage employees to use the more affordable mail-service pharmacy option and consumers who use home delivery are strongly satisfied with it. With mail-service pharmacies, patients can get private counseling over the phone from trained pharmacists seven days a week, 24-hours a day.

PCMA represents the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which improve affordability and quality of care through the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), generic alternatives, mail-service pharmacies, and other innovative tools for 215 million Americans.

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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association


Source: PR Newswire