Mail order pharmacies have been a problem for patients and independently owned pharmacies for years now. At first, mail order pharmacy was an option, but today it is becoming more and more a requirement of insurance plans. Most mail order pharmacies are either owned by, or affiliated with your insurance plan, and the plans “steer” you either to their in-house pharmacy or an “in-network”, big box, retail chain pharmacy that is also either owned by or affiliated with your insurance plan. They “steer” you by providing incentives like lower, in-network copays if you use the pharmacies they choose, and penalizing you for using pharmacies outside their networks.
5 important reasons to say “NO” to mail order pharmacy:
- Mail order costs you more money but saves the insurance plan money
- Steering—insurance plans steer you into their pharmacies or networks by providing incentives that may ultimately cost you more money (Medicare Part D)
- Waste—mail order pharmacies create much more waste of unused medications which results in much higher overall healthcare costs to the individual and public
- Retail pharmacists have to “clean up” the messes caused by poor customer service at mail order pharmacies. How many times do mail order refills not show up on time or at all? Who do you call to help fix this? Does the mail order staff even care??
- Loss of individual patient choice—YOU should be able to choose WHERE and WHO you do business with and your insurance plan should not impact that decision
What can you do? Complain to your insurance plans and/or HR departments and CALL your Elected Representatives TODAY!!!