Mail Order Drug Programs vs. Local Pharmacies

Date: May 19, 2010
Posted In: DLP Law

At the present time, some of the large health care insurance carriers are giving their customers an option to use out-of-state mail order drug providers or continue with their present practice of using local pharmacies. It is represented that the option involving the mail order source will save customers money.

Extreme caution should be utilized in this writer\’s opinion in opting for the mail order option. One of the most common classifications of drugs are referred to as TIER 3 drugs which involve co-payments. In reality, TIER 3 co-payments cost the same at community pharmacies as they will through mail order providers.

There is no way that a large mail order drug providing corporation will have anywhere near the familiarity with an individual\’s medical history as would your local hometown pharmacist. I have never heard of a mail order pharmaceutical vendor opening up specially on a Saturday or Sunday to provide needed medication for one of its clients.

It is also almost certain that Saturday mail delivery will stop in October. The uncertainty of mail delivery on any given day would at times further complicate the prompt delivery of needed medication.

Finally, if mail order drug distribution became prevalent, it may well force out of business many local pharmacies. Without the competition from those pharmacies, who would be so foolish to think that they would continue to save any money on their medication?

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.