There has been a great deal of hype about the advantages of mail service pharmacy and similarly, a nearly equal amount of buzz that mail service pharmacy offers no actual cost benefits. All of the studies have been done in different locations at different times wiith different patient populations using different drug benefit designs, co-payment levels, formulary configurations, etc. What this means is that we really do not know whether there are, or are not, any financial differences between the mail versus traditional in-person pharmacy shop practice. This question has remained unanswered for about 30 years. What is needed is a methodologically robust and sound quantitative study to ascertain from the only relevent perspective-- that of the employer, whether mail service vs. community pharmacy dispensing results in a cost difference and if so, in which direction. Many persons suspect that mail service is not cheaper to the employer the actual payer even though there are some cost savings for the consumer. It is the objective of the proposed endeavor to determine once and for all, what the actual costs are by finding employers having both systems, willing to share their experience data. Once the findings have been calculated, one further objective is to disseminate this result to the practice and research communities via publication in a peer-reviewed journal article.
Temple University School of Pharmacy