WOONSOCKET, R.I., Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- When consumers are offered a cost-neutral choice to fill their 90-day prescription medications in a retail store or through a mail-order pharmacy, they split their preferences largely depending on their past experiences, a first-of-its-kind study from CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS ) has found.
The study, published in the January edition of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), reviewed the actions of approximately 325,000 plan members who were transitioning from pharmacy benefit plans that required mail pharmacy use for maintenance medications to Maintenance Choice over the first four months of the program, which began in January 2009.
Maintenance Choice is a plan design that gives members the option to fill their 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions through mail or at a CVS/pharmacy – for the typically lower mail order price and with reduced co-pays that are typically charged for mail order prescriptions. Maintenance Choice was first offered in January 2009 by CVS Caremark as an option for plan sponsors that have or are considering a mandatory or voluntary mail prescription plan.
The study conducted by researchers from CVS Caremark and Harvard University assessed the selection of retail or mail pharmacy channels among individuals who first initiated therapy under Maintenance Choice and among those who had previously started therapy under a mandatory mail plan design. The findings showed that of the members who previously got their prescriptions through mail, 76.3 percent chose to stay with mail service, while 23.7 percent moved their prescriptions to retail. For the group that was just initiating therapy for a recently diagnosed lon