Mail-service pharmacies can save the nation's employers, unions, government employee plans, consumers and other commercial-sector payers $46.6 billion over the next ten years, new research shows. But, proposed state laws and regulations that restrict mail-service pharmacy options threaten to raise costs for both consumers and payers.
The research found that such legislation can decrease use — and savings — by more than 50 percent for plan sponsors. This could be a significant pain point for the nation's small businesses.
Nearly eight out of 10 small businesses want to be able to continue offering discounts that encourage employees to use the more affordable mail-service pharmacy option, according to research sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), which represents the nation's pharmacy benefits managers.
Home delivery of prescription drugs is popular with consumers because it offers them an average savings of 15 percent for a 90-day supply of drugs compared with the same prescription obtained at a brick-and-mortar drugstore; mail service also eliminates a trip to the drugstore. This saves consumers and payers an average of $22 for each 90-day prescription.
Each percentage point decrease in the use of mail-service pharmacies nationally would increase prescription costs by $2.3 billion over ten years, the PCMA research showed.
"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 Mark Merritt, PCMA president and CEO.
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