J.D. Power pharmacy satisfaction survey: independents on top

Annual survey ranks Good Neighbor Pharmacy as No. 1

The consumer-sentiment surveyor J.D. Power and Associates (Westlake Village, CA) finds Good Neighbor Pharmacy, the franchise organization run by AmerisourceBergen, on top among chain and independent pharmacies nationally. By measuring five factors (prescription ordering; store; cost competitiveness; non-pharmacist staff; and pharmacist) and ranking on a 1000-point scale, J.D. Power puts Good Neighbor at 876, just nosing out Health Mart (McKesson’s similar franchising operation), at 875, and the Medicine Shoppe (a franchising organization owned by Cardinal Health) at 861.

The average for all chains was 842, while supermarket pharmacies came in at 851, mass merchandisers (Target, Wal-Mart and others) came in at 822, and mail order at 820. The single highest-ranked organization was the supermarket pharmacy of Wegman’s, at 887. Among chain pharmacies, Rite Aid was No. 1 (840), followed by CVS/pharmacy (839) and Walgreens (835). Among mass merchandisers, Target was No. 1 (858), followed by Sam’s Club (847; however, pharmacies at Walmart itself were ranked at 805). Among mail order pharmacies, the top ranking went to Humana Pharmacy (875), with the big PBMs coming in at 824 (Express Scripts), 802 (OptumRx) and 801 (CVS/caremark). Also listed in the mail-order category was the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, which got a ranking of 876.

The National Community Pharmacists Assn, CEO, B. Douglas Hoey, RPh got his jab in at mail order, in a separate announcement: “Patients expressed much lower (and declining) satisfaction overall with mail order pharmacies. This supports the importance of health plan sponsors allowing patients to choose a pharmacy that best meets their needs without financial penalty, a position advocated repeatedly by NCPA.”

“Pharmacies serve as a benchmark for other entities in the healthcare ecosystem, as they continue to have the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the healthcare industry, demonstrating that focusing on customer satisfaction is good for both patients and businesses,” said Rick Johnson, director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power, in a statement.

For Pharma, the popularity of dispensing channel choices is just one consideration in business relationships, to the extent that prescription choice is in the hands of the patient. It is worth noting that J.D. Power found that satisfaction for mail order and brick-and-mortar customers combined declines by 38 points when customers run out of medication before a refill is available (whether this is a stock-out situation or not is ambiguous). As might be expected, any pharmacy does better when its staff tries to connect a patient with a pharmacist for consultation, and when it provides ancillary health and wellness services in addition to dispensing meds.

Additional details of the J.D. Power report are available here.