Mail Order’s Hidden Costs

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As submitted to the Mesquite Local News

With respect to lowering healthcare costs, Dr. Kiffer is correct in promoting the appropriate use of generic prescription drugs, but we urge caution in considering mail order pharmacies as a panacea ("Save on your health care," December 3, 2011). Generics can greatly reduce costs, and community pharmacies dispense generics about 20 percent more often than most mail order facilities, which often profit from brand-name manufacturer rebates and other hidden incentives. Additionally, mail order is not appropriate for all medications, particularly those that are time or temperature-sensitive. Furthermore, research indicates patients stick to their prescribed regimen far better when talking to a pharmacist face-to-face—ultimately leading to lower overall healthcare costs.

B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA
National Community Pharmacists Association
Alexandria, Va.

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