PBMs: Post Office Plan To End Saturday Shipments Could Boost Drug Prices
Pharmacy-benefits management companies, including CVS Caremark and Medco, are worried that a U.S. Postal Service plan to end Saturday delivery could raise mail-order drug prices, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. "The pharmacy-benefits management companies, which shipped more than 150 million drug orders last year, joined retailer Crate and Barrel and publishers of small newspapers to challenge the Postal Service and its plan to cut service to save about $3 billion a year." The Post Office is trying to combat a projected $7 billion deficit this year (Keane, 6/21).
One concern is that competitors will raise Saturday delivery rates, according to The Washington Post. "'Mail order pharmacies and other merchants will have no choice but to shift these costs to patients,' CVS Senior Vice President Kenneth Czarnecki told members of the Postal Regulatory Commission on Monday at a hearing on the future of American mail delivery held in Chicago. 'These added costs not only impact patients' pockets, but will also place significant fiscal strain on our health care system'" (O'Keefe, 6/22).