J.D. Power Releases Pharmacy Survey Results

Drug Topics JournalDrug Topics September 2019
Volume 163
Issue 9

Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Sam’s Club receive top rankings.

man selecting smily face on survey
Greg Truex

Greg Truex

Some of the same drug store chains and mail order companies-including Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Sam’s Club, Wegmans, and Humana-continue to rank highest amongst consumers, a new survey finds.

In the J.D. Power 2019 US Pharmacy Study, Sam’s Club ranks highest overall among brick-and-mortar merchandiser pharmacies, followed by Costco and CVS/pharmacy inside Target.

Good Neighbor Pharmacy ranks highest overall among brick-and-mortar chain drug store pharmacies, followed by Health Mart and Rite Aid Pharmacy. Among supermarket pharmacies, Wegmans ranks highest overall, followed by Publix and Winn-Dixie.

In the mail order arena, Humana Pharmacy ranks highest overall, followed by Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy and OptumRx.

“Good Neighbor, Sam’s Club, Wegman’s, and Humana continue to exceed health consumer expectations by consistently executing on behaviors just a little bit more than the rest of the competitive set within their industry,” Greg Truex, managing director of Health Intelligence at J.D. Power, tells Drug Topics. “These were the same award winners in 2018.” 

The U.S. Pharmacy Study, now in its 11th year, measures customer satisfaction with brick-and-mortar and mail order pharmacies. It is based on responses from 12,059 pharmacy customers who filled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period of May-June 2019.

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While some pharmacies performed very well, CVS ranked lowest among chain drug stores because “they were the only organization that did not improve their customer experience between 2018 and 2019,” Truex says. “All other organizations either remained the same, or their customer satisfaction increased.”

Walmart ranked lowest among mass merchandiser pharmacies because its competitors increased at a much larger rate year over year, according to Truex. “Walmart health consumers were more satisfied in 2019, but their segment just increased at a higher rate,” he says.

Safeway was ranked lowest for the second year in a row, but it realized one of the largest year-over-year gains between 2018 and 2019, increasing 18 points.

Other key findings of the survey include:

1Face-to-face interaction is still most prevalent. Most pharmacy customers that communicate with the pharmacist and staff do so in-person (89%), even though customers that use email or online live chat to interact with the pharmacist or staff are equally or more satisfied. 


2. Thorough pharmacist discussions yield higher customer satisfaction. Satisfaction with the pharmacist is above 940 (on a 1,000-point scale) when pharmacists cover four or more topics with the customer during their interaction, compared with just one (884) or two (917) topics.


3. Health and wellness customers spend more at the pharmacy. Around two-fifths (42%) of customers who are aware of their pharmacy’s health and wellness services have used one of the services in the past year. 

“Vaccinations and flu shots are the most used services by health consumers, followed by health screenings, and treatment for common illnesses. But those services are also cited as lowest in terms of overall satisfaction with health consumers,” Truex says.

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While those who have taken advantage of health and wellness services spent 12.5% more on their most recent prescription order, significantly less health and wellness customers received a prescription as a result of their participation in 2019 as compared with 2018.


4. Mobile app users are more satisfied, but usage is stagnant. Only 20% of customers use a pharmacy’s mobile app, but those who did have satisfaction scores as much as 23 points higher than those who do not.

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