PCMA: Mail-Service Pharmacies Will Save Missouri Consumers and Payers $914 Million Over the Next Decade

 

New Prescription Drug Tax Would Increase Rx Costs by More Than $285 Million

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mail-service pharmacies will save Missouri consumers, employers, unions, the state government, and other commercially-insured payers $914 million in prescription drug costs over the next ten years, according to new research released by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA).

New legislation (MO HB 1581) would grant special protections for drugstores by prohibiting consumers from getting discounted prescriptions through mail-service pharmacies.  If Missouri 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 $285 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 Missouri consumers, employers, unions, the state government, and other commercially-insured payers $914 million 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 Missouri 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 $285 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




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