It's all about the meds. You need 'em. You gotta get 'em. You can't stand spending your life chasing around after them. But of course your life now depends on it.
Mail order came into my life about a year ago, when my husband changed jobs and health care plans. Lots of compromises with the new plan, but the meds-in-the-mail program changed my life, I tell you! You get three month's worth of supplies delivered to your doorstep (!), usually at cheaper co-pay rates. Test strips didn't turn out to be cheaper, but the convenience of phone or online renewals is life-altering for anyone dependent on six or more prescriptions that keep running out at different times of the month.
I suppose I'm not surprised, but truly perturbed by the outbreak of commercial war over mail order prescriptions. Of course, it's all about cutting costs. Since mail order is now the cheapest way to fill prescriptions, many companies are making it mandatory. For example, GM recently banned its employees from filling prescriptions at Walgreens in favor of the company's cheaper mail-order plan.
Retail pharmacy chains like CVS are retaliating against employers with these policies by opting out of plans and such, allegedly for denying patients "access to community pharmacists, whom they value and trust." Who are we kidding here? It's pretty clear that CVS and other retailers are really most concerned about their own loss of income. They make money not only on the prescriptions they fill, but on the additional buying and impulse shopping people do when they come in to a store to place or pick up a prescription order.
I'd have to agree with the folks at BI Daily News that there is a role for both retail and mail order: retail stores are still the best way to fill prescriptions needed immediately, and mail order is best suited for "maintenance drugs." For us diabetics, who are in it for the long-haul maintenance plan, mail order is a godsend! Massive convenience and cost-cutting for us, too.