Study finds consumers have broad access to pharmacies

May 7, 2007

American consumers currently have access to nearly 59,000 retail pharmacies widely dispersed in urban, suburban, and rural areas throughout the country, giving them, on average, access to 21 competing pharmacies located near their current pharmacy.

American consumers currently have access to nearly 59,000 retail pharmacies widely dispersed in urban, suburban, and rural areas throughout the country, giving them, on average, access to 21 competing pharmacies located near their current pharmacy. This is the conclusion of an analysis conducted by SK&A Information Services and released by PCMA. These competitors include chains, supermarkets, mass-merchandisers, and independents. "Since nearly all pharmacies are part of PBM networks, this competitive pharmacy marketplace provides consumers with a number of options when purchasing their prescription drugs," said PCMA president Mark Merritt. In a related statement, PCMA noted that "proven PBM tools utilized in the Medicare [Part D] drug benefit have provided millions of seniors with deeper-than-expected savings and increased access on their necessary prescription drugs. Policymakers should take note of the clear differences between the benefits provided by PBMs in the drug benefit and the very costly measures the independent drugstore lobby is seeking." NCPA responded by issuing the following statement: "Clearly, PCMA recognizes that NCPA is making progress in getting across the message that low and slow Medicare Part D reimbursement, Medicaid cuts, and anticompetitive business practices by the mail-order PBM industry will continue to reduce consumer access to pharmacies. The study is a transparent attempt to mislead the public into believing that driving independents out of business will not have a significant impact on patient access."

To see more Hot off the Press news articles, click here.

To go to the Drug Topics homepage, click here.