Regions Bank won’t require employees to use mail-order pharmacies

January 24, 2012

Regions Bank, which operates 1,800 U.S. banks, recently rescinded its policy requiring employees to fill prescription drugs for chronic conditions through mail-order pharmacies.

Regions Bank, which operates 1,800 U.S. banks, recently rescinded its policy requiring employees to fill prescription drugs for chronic conditions through mail-order pharmacies.

Regions’ new policy -- which would have prevented many Regions’ employees from using community pharmacies -- was slated to go into effect on January 1, 2012.

“We had an extremely constructive dialogue with Regions’ leadership and, based on the business case, ultimately it was decided that mail order is not for everyone,” said Tim Hamrick, CEO of the American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc., (APCI).

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the Georgia Academy of Independent Pharmacy also worked on the effort with Regions Bank.

APCI recognizes that corporations like Regions Bank are experiencing “real pressures” to rein in healthcare costs, according to Hamrick, and independent community pharmacies can help them do that. Community pharmacies’ ability to drive greater generic drug utilization, reduce medication waste, and ensure that patients take their medications as prescribed, result in real cost reductions, Hamrick indicated in a statement.

NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, commended Regions Bank’s mail-order decision.

“If Regions Bank had ultimately mandated that its health plan beneficiaries use only mail-order to fill prescriptions, patients and the independent pharmacists who care for them would have suffered. In fact, in this case, we estimated that a mandatory mail policy by Regions Bank would have resulted in approximately $31 million in lost economic activity for the affected local communities each year,” Hoey said in a press release.