Decline in Mail-Order Dispensing Opens Opportunity for Drugstores

June 10, 2015

Revised IMS Health data depict where prescriptions are being dispensed across the community pharmacy setting.

Revised IMS Health data depict where prescriptions are being dispensed across the community pharmacy setting.

Most encouraging to me in Drug Channels’ summary of the report is the significant decline in the number of prescriptions dispensed by mail order, even through some pharmacy benefit managers have put financial incentives in place to push these services. Of course, some in pharmacy may be concerned that chain and mass-merchant pharmacies have seen stronger gains than independent ones.

But as long as patients use local pharmacies of any type to fill their prescriptions, each brick-and-mortar pharmacy has the opportunity to compete for that business—and that is a good thing. Closed distribution networks can work against this competition, however, so it will be interesting to see whether brick-and-mortar pharmacies continue to grow or, like mail-order services, decline as patients get the chance to chose where they go for prescriptions.