ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Aug. 27, 2020) — After the House Energy and Commerce Committee launched an investigation into potential delivery delays for mail order medications reportedly linked to operational changes at the U.S Postal Service, the National Community Pharmacists Association is urging committee leaders to broaden their investigation to probe long-term problems with mail order prescription plans. For years, NCPA says, mail order has led to damaged or missing medications in some cases, expensive medication waste in others, conflicts of interest, and decreased patient choice and access to reliable pharmacy care.
“Because PBMs steer customers into mail order plans this limits patients to one pharmacy, and these captive customers are essentially unable to go elsewhere, even when the patient’s medications are delayed, lost in the mail or misdelivered,” said Karry La Violette, NCPA senior vice president of government affairs. “Problems with forced or incentivized mail order plans have been taking place for some time and too many patients have found themselves scrambling, even before added difficulties brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Policymakers should investigate the cost and safety of mail order prescriptions as well as the impacts of any delivery delays on drug safety and efficacy,” La Violette said. “We’re confident they will find that in many cases there are better, more reliable options – namely, patients’ neighborhood pharmacies – to help improve outcomes, protect patient choice, and control costs.”
Review NCPA’s Waste Not, Want Not photo display documenting the problem of medication waste associated with mail order pharmacies.
Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing over 21,000 pharmacies that employ approximately 250,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America's most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit www.ncpa.org.