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Pharmacy home delivery cost-efficient, safe

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AFPS) --

Following an almost year-long study of the TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery program requested by members of Congress, the Defense Department inspector general's office has determined it is a cost-efficient way for beneficiaries to get their prescription medications, TRICARE Management Activity officials reported.

 

The inspector general's study found that the Home Delivery mail-order program saved the government 16.7 percent -- nearly $67 million -- in the third quarter of fiscal year 2012, officials said.

 

The audit compared what the government spent on prescription drugs through Home Delivery and what the cost would have been at retail pharmacies. Additionally, the TRICARE pharmacy contractor, Express Scripts, reported to the inspector general that Home Delivery offers a 99.99 percent prescription fill accuracy rate, high beneficiary satisfaction and improved patient outcomes.

 

“Although not surprised, we are certainly pleased at the results of the report," said U.S. Public Health Service Rear Adm. Thomas J. McGinnis, chief of TRICARE pharmaceutical operations. "Home Delivery saves beneficiaries and the Department of Defense millions of dollars every year, and gives beneficiaries a safe and secure way to receive their prescription medications."

 

In June 2013, the 1.64 million prescriptions filled through Home Delivery represented a 17 percent increase in volume compared to the previous year, while retail prescription volume fell 10 percent, officials said.

 

When TRICARE beneficiaries use the Home Delivery pharmacy to fill maintenance medication prescriptions, they receive a 90-day supply through the mail and have no copayment for generic formulary medications and a $13 copay for brand-name formulary medications. At retail network pharmacies, beneficiaries pay $5 for a 30-day supply of generic formulary medications and $17 for brand name formulary medications.

 

TRICARE beneficiaries can sign up for Home Delivery online, by mail or by phone.

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