A Community Pharmacy Foundation study of medication waste raises questions about cost-savings associated with prescriptions filled by mail, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) said Tuesday.
In the study, more than 6,500 prescriptions that were returned by consumers for disposal at pharmacies through the NCPA Dispose My Meds program between June 2012 and June 2013 were analyzed.
The research showed that the prescriptions that had been ordered by mail were more apt to have more than 80 percent of the medicine remaining compared to those that had been filled at pharmacies. Additionally, the mail-order medications were more likely to be costlier brand-name medications.
"Mail order is not for everyone," NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey said. "Medications don't work in patients who don't take them and this study raises serious questions of patient adherence when they receive prescriptions through the mail.
"This study is just one more exhibit in the mounting evidence that the savings created by mail order pharmacies are illusory," Hoey said. "The accessibility of face-to-face interactions with a community pharmacist helps patients to better adhere to their medication regimens, which in turn reduces waste."
Study questions cost savings of mail-order medications
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