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TRICARE’s pharmacy benefit covers more than 9 million active duty members of the military, retirees and their families.
That’s not only a pretty significant market, but the fact that a government agency is enabling its constituents to choose the personal interaction with their pharmacist in the convenience of a retail setting, over a more mechanical mail-order transaction, speaks volumes to the value inherent in those pharmacist-patient interactions.
That’s really the crux of the issue — care versus cost.
At one point, it looked as though military beneficiaries would be forced into mandatory mail order as a cost-cutting/cost-saving measure. This 180-degree about-face not only underscores the value of that pharmacist-patient interaction, it also substantiates that today’s consumers can have the best of both worlds, with the ability to choose comprehensive care at lower cost. After all, the Department of Defense is estimated to realize more than $12.6 billion through 2015 in a plan that includes ready access to community pharmacy.