J.D. Power: Overall pharmacy satisfaction dips amid drug price concerns

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J.D. Power: Overall pharmacy satisfaction dips amid drug price concerns

By David Salazar - 09/05/2017

COSTA MESA, Calif. — J.D Power’s 2017 U.S. Pharmacy Study is showing a drop in overall customer satisfaction for an industry that typically ranks among the highest-scoring ones assessed by the market research company.

The 2017 study saw overall customer satisfaction with brick-and-mortar pharmacy costs drop by 27 index points year-over-year to 789 on a 1,000-point scale. And patient satisfaction with their in-store experience dropped 14 points to 851 points. Like retail pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies saw overall satisfaction drop due to a 49-point decline to 787 in satisfaction with cost, as well as by a 15-point dip to 877 when it comes to the prescription ordering process.

“Pharmacies have historically earned very high marks for customer satisfaction, so any significant year-over-year decline is cause for closer investigation,” J.D. Power director of healthcare practice Rick Johnson said. “Consumer concerns about rising drug prices have likely affected perceptions of the cost for their retail prescriptions. The decrease in satisfaction with cost is the primary drag on overall customer satisfaction, creating a serious challenge for retailers.”

Among other topline insights, the study found that drug adherence, which the company measured for the first time this year, is highest among mail-order pharmacy patients, who have adherence rates of 79%, and lowest among specialty pharmacy patients, 84% of which say they always adhere to their medications. Seventy-nine percent of retail pharmacy patients said they always adhere to their medications.

Across pharmacy channels, supermarket pharmacies had the highest overall satisfaction, scoring 859 points, followed by mail order (853), hospital or clinic pharmacies (851), chain drug stores (849), specialty pharmacies (842) and mass merchandisers (839).

Among brick-and-mortar chain drug stores, independent chains took the top three spots, with Good Neighbor Pharmacy ranking highest overall with 889 points, followed by Health Mart at 886 points and Medicine Shoppe with 879 points. Among mass merchandisers, Sam’s Club took the top spot with a score of 874, followed by Fred’s (873) and Costco (875). CVS Pharmacy at Target placed fifth, but it saw the largest increase in satisfaction over 2016, increasing its satisfaction score by 20 points.

Brookshire Grocery was the highest-ranking brick-and-mortar supermarket with a score of 894, followed by H-E-B with 893 and Bi-Lo with 891 points. Among specialty pharmacies, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy took the top spot with 853 points, followed by BriovaRx (851) and CVS Specialty/CVS Caremark with 840 points.