You may have received a letter from your insurance company informing you about, and maybe even demanding that you begin, using mail order pharmacy services instead of your local pharmacy. They offer direct delivery and sometimes even lower copays to try to reel you in. Do not be fooled. Here you will find some important information on mail order pharmacies and how that push violates your rights as a patient.
How do mail order pharmacies work?
The first thing you need to understand about these mail order pharmacies, is that they are usually owned by your insurance company’s pharmacy benefits manager (PBM). They don’t force you into using mail order because they are that adamant about saving you a trip to the pharmacy or saving you a few dollars on your copays. They force you to use their mail order pharmacies because it benefits them, not you.
Thinking about using a mail order pharmacy?
Patients consistently report issues with getting their prescriptions. I routinely get calls from patients who have not received their medications on time. But late deliveries aren’t the only problem. Many customers even complain of having too much of a particular supply. Perhaps this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal at first, but what if that pharmacy refused to let you return it for a refund? That’s exactly what CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) reports their patient’s have dealt with on many occasions.
Mail order pharmacies are also notorious for switching patients’ prescriptions for a more financially beneficial medication. Because they are owned and operated by PBM’s that get rebates from manufacturers for using their medications, they switch your medication purely based on their greed and without any regard to how it may impact your health.
Keep in mind also, that mail order pharmacies do not provide compounding services. If you require or desire compounded medications, you must use an additional pharmacy. This increases the risk for drug interactions as neither pharmacy has your complete list of medications.
PBM Mail Order Pharmacy Mandates Harm Patients
Check out this video by NCPA
Make sure you check out this additional information on the problems with mail order pharmacy: