A majority of retail users surveyed indicated they are comfortable with their routine and satisfied with the service. They said they had little reason to consider options. But satisfaction with their current choice was not the sole obstacle to trying mail. Retail users in our focus groups revealed a range of concerns about trying mail service pharmacy, many of which were tied to lack of awareness and/or misunderstanding.
- Uncertainty about costs: Some beneficiaries were unaware that they may be able to save money on prescriptions by using mail service pharmacy.
- Lack of information: Retail users wanted to know how mail service pharmacy “works,” what they have to do to get started, and how they could be sure they wouldn’t run out of medication before receiving a refill.
- Concerns about security and safety: Some expressed concern that their prescriptions would be stolen or not delivered on time. Others were concerned about privacy.
- Questions about drug quality and efficacy: Some participants had doubts whether drugs from the mail service pharmacy would be the same as those from their retail pharmacy. Others were concerned that their medications could be negatively affected by extreme weather conditions.
- Issues about loss of control: Retail users thought of “in person” fills as giving them greater control. For some, even using auto refill with the retail pharmacy represented some loss of control.
- Value of personal relationships: Predictably, beneficiaries filling their prescriptions at retail pharmacies often valued the personal interaction with pharmacy staff and correlated that with better customer service.