COSTA MESA, Calif. — Resentment over rising drug prices has dimmed customers’ view of the U.S. pharmacy industry, according to J.D. Power.
Decreased satisfaction with both brick-and-mortar and mail order pharmacies was found by the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Pharmacy Study. Satisfaction with brick-and-mortar pharmacy costs fell 27 index points to 789 on a 1,000-point scale.
“Pharmacies have historically earned very high marks for customer satisfaction, so any significant year-over-year decline is cause for closer investigation,” said Rick Johnson, director of the health care practice at J.D. Power. “The decrease in satisfaction with cost is the primary drag on overall customer satisfaction, creating a serious challenge for retailers.”
Of the pharmacy channels, supermarkets had the highest levels of overall customer satisfaction, scoring 859, followed by mail order (853); hospital or clinic (851); chain drug stores (849); specialty pharmacy (842); and mass merchandisers (839).
Brookshire Grocery Co. ranked highest overall among supermarkets with a score of 894. H-E-B (893) was second and BI-LO (891) placed third.
The highest ranking drug chains were Good Neighbor Pharmacy (889), Health Mart (886) and Medicine Shoppe International (879).
Among mass merchants, Sam’s Club led with a score of 874. Fred’s Inc. (873) took second, and Costco Wholesale Corp. (875) came in third. While CVS Pharmacy at Target placed fifth this year, it had the largest gain in satisfaction of any pharmacy from 2016 (up 20 points).
Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy ranked No. 1 in mail order (884). Humana Pharmacy (871) took second, and Walmart Pharmacy Mail Services (864) was third.
Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy ranked highest among specialty pharmacies with a score of 853. BriovaRx (851) came in second, and CVS Specialty/CVS Caremark (840) finished third.
While the Veterans Administration mail order pharmacy (CMOP) is not rank-eligible, it has been the highest or second-highest scoring mail order pharmacy every year the study has been conducted. In 2017, VA CMOP was the highest-scoring mail order pharmacy and the third-highest scoring pharmacy (892) across all segments.
Across segments, satisfaction with the in-store experience suffered a 14-point drop to 851. Mail order saw declines in satisfaction with cost ( down 49 to 787) and the prescription ordering process (down 15 to 877).
This year’s study measured drug adherence for the first time and found that 79% of customers who fill their scripts at a brick-and-mortar pharmacy say they always adhere to their medications versus 84% for mail order customers and 74% for specialty pharmacy patients. Customers who discuss a prescription with a pharmacist in a brick-and-mortar pharmacy at the time of pickup have the highest overall levels of adherence.