Survey: Local pharmacy outshines mail order

Thursday, September 27, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Mail-order pharmacies continue to get lower marks in customer satisfaction, according to a survey released today.

On a scale of 1,000, overall satisfaction with mail-order pharmacies averages 792, compared to 814 for brick-and-mortar pharmacies, states J.D Power and Associates in a press release. That's down 14 points from 2011.

Customer satisfaction with mail-order pharmacies is measured by four factors: cost competitiveness, prescription delivery, prescription ordering, and customer service. For brick-and-mortar pharmacies, it’s measured by five factors: prescription ordering and pick-up process, store, cost competitiveness, non-pharmacist staff, and pharmacist.

Satisfaction with mail-order pharmacies is significantly higher among customers who choose to use mail-order pharmacies rather then those who are required to use it (810 vs. 768); and satisfaction with cost competitiveness is higher in that same group (773 vs. 714).

"Customers who are given a choice tend to perceive they are paying less than they would at a store pharmacy, or are deriving a better value for their purchase," stated Rick Millard, senior director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

When it comes to choosing between the two, a convenient location and customer service are more important for the brick-and-mortar pharmacy.

"This survey is also noteworthy for the growing dissatisfaction patients expressed with respect to mail-order pharmacies, typically owned by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs)," stated Lonny Wilson, president of the National Community Pharmacists Association. "For the second consecutive year, more patients disapproved of the job performance of mail-order pharmacies than did the year before."

To read more: