Mail-service and specialty pharmacies will save consumers more than $300 billion

A 2014 report by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association said that specialty and mail-service pharmacies will save consumers, employers and other payers more than $300 billion over the next 10 years

The report cites findings from a recent analysis by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that include mail-service pharmacies will save consumers an approximate $5.1 billion in 2015 and $59.6 billion over the next 10 years. The report also suggests specialty pharmacies will save consumers an approximate $13.5 billion in 2015 and $251.5 billion over the next 10 years, and combined mail-service and specialty pharmacies will save consumers an approximate $18.6 billion in 2015 and $311 billion over the next 10 years.

CMS also found that mail-service pharmacies save an average of 16 percent on prescription compared to retail pharmacies, and specialty pharmacies have showed average savings of 10 percent on drug costs and substantial savings on non-drug medical cost in comparison to retail pharmacies.

An analysis by Visante, Inc. showed that in comparison to retail pharmacies, mail-service and specialty pharmacies provide deeper discounts and enhanced services, therefore generating greater savings.

The report also warns that legislation that enforces restrictions on the use of specialty pharmacies poses a risk to these substantial savings.

"A study by the Maryland Health Care and Insurance Commissions found that anti-mail service legislation can lead to dramatically lower mail-service pharmacy use," the report said. "In short, anti-mail-service legislation cut the use of mail-service pharmacies by more than 50 percent, which means that any resulting savings was also cut by more than 50 percent."