Magazine article Drug Topics

TRICARE's Mail-Order Program Earns High Marks in Federal Audit

Magazine article Drug Topics

TRICARE's Mail-Order Program Earns High Marks in Federal Audit

Article excerpt

An audit

by the Department of Defense's Office of the THUMES UP Inspector General (OIG) has found the TRICARE mail-order pharmacy program to be "more efficient and effective than retail programs," as well as less prone to errors.

NACDS objects

TRICARE is the healthcare plan that serves 10 million active and retired military personnel and their families.

In May, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) urged a congressional panel to reject proposals that would force military families to use mail-order services to fill prescriptions. The proposed changes were part of discussions regarding the 2014 Defense Budget.

According to NACDS, mandating the use of TRICARE would limit choices for service members, retirees, and their families. NACDS also asserted that in the case of generics, mail-order prices are more expensive than those of retail pharmacy.

Audit findings

However, the OIG audit concluded that the TRICARE mail-order program saved taxpayers 16.7% over the costs incurred through use of retail pharmacy. In addition, 96% of the TRICARE beneficiaries responding to the survey said that they were either "somewhat," "very," or "completely satisfied" with the program. …

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