The pharmacy industry’s expansion into broader health and wellness services is driving patient satisfaction and spending, according to the JD Power 2020 US Pharmacy Study.

Pharmacy providers have been increasingly moving into primary care spaces with consultation kiosks, exam rooms, and vaccination sites. Moves such as Walgreens’ partnership with Humana and Walmart’s entry into the health insurance space have pushed pharmacies into areas traditionally reserved for primary care physicians.

“What has not been clear until now is exactly how consumers would react to the shift,” said James Beem, MHA, managing director of Healthcare Intelligence at JD Power, in a statement. “Simply put, they’re embracing it, and it’s driving higher overall satisfaction and increased spending as they use more health and wellness-oriented services.”

The study found that 48% of retail pharmacy customers have used at least 1 health and wellness-oriented service provided by their pharmacy this year. Significantly, they also found that overall customer satisfaction with the retail pharmacy is 26 points higher on a 1000-point scale among customers who use health and wellness services compared with customers who have not.

This expansion into primary care is also driving increased satisfaction and spending, with the study finding that customers who use at least 1 health and wellness-oriented service spending an average of $11 more than those who do not use those services ($35 vs $24, respectively). When customers use 2 or more of those services, the average spend increases to $58.

Notably, among customers who use 2 or more health and wellness-oriented services, overall satisfaction is 907 on a 1000-point scale, compared with 861 for those who do not use any service.

Interestingly, the study found that although patients who utilize digital ordering have high levels of satisfaction, use of these services remains low. Just 9% of brick-and-mortar pharmacy customers order their prescriptions online, but those who do have an overall satisfaction score of 859, which is 5 points higher than those who visit the store in person.

On the other hand, the study found that mail-order pharmacy customers utilize digital ordering much more often, with 32% using digital channels. These patients have even higher satisfaction levels, with an overall satisfaction score of 867.

When looking at drivers of utilization, the study found that influencers such as physician recommendations are important to the use of these services. Physician recommendations for pharmacy-delivered health and wellness services were associated with an 80% utilization rate, whereas recommendations from friends and family were associated with a 75% utilization rate.

Despite this, just 8% of customers said they had received a recommendation from their physician and 9% had received a recommendation from friends and family. The most common means of hearing about these services was in-store advertising, which drove a 45% utilization rate.

Finally, the study ranked the consumer satisfaction of top pharmacies among various environments, including chain drug stores, mass merchandiser pharmacies, supermarket pharmacies, and mail order pharmacies. Among brick-and-mortar chain drug store pharmacies, Good Neighbor Pharmacy ranked the highest with a score of 915. Health Mart followed with a score of 905 and Rite Aid Pharmacy ranked third with a score of 861.

Sam’s Club ranked highest among brick-and-mortar mass merchandiser pharmacies for the fifth consecutive year, with a score of 885. Costco and CVS, including CVS pharmacies inside of Target stores, tied for second with a score of 870.

Among brick-and-mortar supermarket pharmacies, Wegmans ranked the highest with a score of 904. Publix ranked second with a score of 889 and Winn-Dixie ranked third at 883.

Finally, Humana Pharmacy ranked highest among mail order pharmacies, with a score of 904. OptumRx ranked second with a score of 886 and Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy ranked third with a score of 883.

REFERENCE
Recent Retail Pharmacy Health and Wellness Services Offer Glimpse into Future of Healthcare, JD Power Finds [news release]. JD Power; August 5, 2020. https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2020-us-pharmacy-study. Accessed August 5, 2020.