Good Neighbor Pharmacy turned in the highest overall score in pharmacy customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 National Pharmacy Study.

Good Neighbor Pharmacy, pharmacy customer satisfaction, J.D. Power and Associates 2010 National Pharmacy Study, J.D. Power National Pharmacy Study, chain drug stores, drug chains, drug store chain, Mike Cantrell, pharmacy, supermarket pharmacies, mass merchandisers, mail order pharmacies, Jim Dougherty, health care

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Good Neighbor Pharmacy tops in satisfaction

September 21st, 2010

NEW YORK – Good Neighbor Pharmacy turned in the highest overall score in pharmacy customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 National Pharmacy Study.

The AmerisourceBergen Corp. unit and two other pharmacy franchise networks — Health Mart (part of McKesson Corp.) and The Medicine Shoppe (part of Cardinal Health Inc.) — were the top three finishers in customer satisfaction in the chain drug segment of the study, the results of which were released Tuesday. Health Mart came in first among chain drug retailers last year.

J.D. Power's National Pharmacy Study, now in its fourth year, measures customer satisfaction with brick-and-mortar pharmacies and mail order pharmacies. The 2010 study is based on responses from more than 12,300 customers who filled a new prescription or refilled a prescription during the three months before the online survey, which was conducted between May and June 2010.

Brick-and-mortar pharmacies encompassed chain drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchandisers (including discount stores and warehouse clubs), and in this segment the study gauged five key factors contributing to customer satisfaction — the prescription ordering and pick-up process, the stores, cost competitiveness, pharmacists and nonpharmacist staff — and rated them based on a 1,000-point scale.

Among chain drug pharmacies, Good Neighbor Pharmacy ranked the highest in customer satisfaction with a score of 869, followed by Health Mart (856) and Medicine Shoppe (851).

Good Neighbor Pharmacy is a network of about 3,700 community pharmacies across the United States and Puerto Rico. "It is an honor for Good Neighbor Pharmacy owners and operators to be recognized by the patients they serve in this J.D. Power and Associates study," Mike Cantrell, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, said in a statement. "We recognize the importance of the community pharmacy where the pharmacist has the opportunity to help personally manage their patients' health, and we are pleased to see the patients' recognition of Good Neighbor Pharmacy as well."

Of the nation's largest drug chains, Walgreens led with a score of 807, followed by Rite Aid (794) and CVS (789). Duane Reade, now part of Walgreen Co., had a score of 688. The average score for the chain drug segment was 805.

Supermarket pharmacies turned in a higher average satisfaction score (824) than drug store chains. In fact, three supermarket pharmacies were among the top five overall scores: Publix (862), Wegmans Food Markets (859) and Winn-Dixie (853). Wegmans posted the highest overall score among brick-and-mortar pharmacies in last year's study.

Rounding out the top 10 in supermarkets were Hy-Vee (850), Hannaford (828), H.E. Butt (824), Jewel-Osco (820), Ralphs (819), Kroger (816) and Albertsons (813).

Of brick-and-mortar pharmacies, mass merchandisers had the lowest average score (794) in customer satisfaction, though the top finishers posted higher ratings than those of the three biggest drug store chains. Target led the mass merchandiser field with a score of 848, followed by Costco (844), Sam's Club (844), Kmart (818) and Walmart (769).

In the mail order segment, Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy ranked the highest for a second consecutive year with a score of 854, followed by Express Scripts (830), Humana RightSourceRx (829), Prescription Solutions (824) and Medco (804). Of mail order pharmacy services operated by retailers, CVS/ Caremark Mail Service had a score of 790, followed by Walgreens Mail Service (757) and Walmart Pharmacy Mail Services (713). The mail order segment average was 814, with J.D. Power examining four key factors: cost competitiveness, prescription delivery, prescription ordering and customer service.

Overall, the J.D. Power National Pharmacy Study found that the importance of cost competitiveness in driving overall satisfaction has more than doubled from 2009 among both brick-and-mortar and mail-order pharmacy customers. Cost competitiveness accounts for 24% of overall satisfaction among brick-and-mortar customers (versus 10% in 2009) and for 41% among mail order customers (versus 19% in 2009).

"Despite the fact that customer-reported out-of-pocket pharmacy costs remain virtually unchanged from 2009, customers have become notably more sensitive to cost issues in 2010," explained Jim Dougherty, director of the health care practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Consumers are spending more on health care expenses in general due to various employer-implemented changes in insurance coverage. High-performing pharmacies aren't necessarily those with the lowest prices. Rather, pharmacies that are focused on service garner the highest levels of satisfaction. Customer service still trumps price, even in an environment where cost has become increasingly important."

The marketing firm noted that according to the J.D. Power Web Intelligence Division, online consumer conversations about brick-and-mortar pharmacies tend to revolve around good and bad experiences far more often than the cost paid for the prescription, with the chief complaints being unfriendly pharmacy staff, long wait times and prescription mistakes.

In addition, the study finds that brick-and-mortar pharmacy customers who are highly satisfied (scores of 901 or higher) are more than three times more likely to say they "definitely will" return to their pharmacy and 10 times more likely to say they "definitely will" recommend their pharmacy to others, compared with customers with low
satisfaction levels (scores of 550 or lower). And based on national average spending by pharmacy customers, a highly satisfied customer may generate $227 in additional prescription revenue each year, J.D. Power reported.

Similarly, compared with less satisfied customers, highly satisfied mail-order customers are more than twice as likely to return to their pharmacy and nearly eight times more likely to recommend their pharmacy, resulting in a potential $160 in additional prescription revenue per customer annually, according to the study.

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