Press Release

Decline in Pharmacy Customer Satisfaction Driven by Prescription Drug Costs, J.D. Power Finds

Cost Cited as Primary Driver of Decline in Satisfaction with Brick-and-Mortar and Mail Order Pharmacies

COSTA MESA, Calif.: 5 Sept. 2017 — The U.S. pharmacy industry, perennially one of the highest-scoring industries measured by J.D. Power, experienced notable declines in overall customer satisfaction this year. According to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Pharmacy Study,SM decreases in satisfaction with both brick-and-mortar and mail order pharmacies are driven primarily by declines in satisfaction with cost.

“Pharmacies have historically earned very high marks for customer satisfaction, so any significant year-over-year decline is cause for closer investigation,” said Rick Johnson, Director of the Healthcare Practice at J.D. Power. “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.”

Following are some of the key findings of the study:

  • Decline in customer satisfaction driven by cost: Decreases in satisfaction with brick-and-mortar pharmacies are driven by year-over-year declines in satisfaction with cost, which falls 27 index points to 789 (on a 1,000-point scale), and the in-store experience, a 14-point drop to 851.  Decreases in satisfaction with mail order pharmacies are driven by declines in satisfaction with cost (-49 to 787) and the prescription ordering process (-15 to 877).
  • Drug adherence highest with mail order, lowest at specialty pharmacy: This year’s study measures drug adherence levels across the different pharmacy channels for the first time, and finds that 79% of customers who fill their prescriptions through a brick-and-mortar pharmacy say they always adhere to their medications. This compares with 84% among mail order customers and 74% among specialty pharmacy customers. Customers who discuss a prescription with a pharmacist in a brick-and-mortar pharmacy at the time of pick-up have the highest overall levels of adherence.
  • New segment: New to the U.S. Pharmacy Study is the specialty segment.  Specialty drugs often require special handling, might be infused, and can cost significantly more than non-specialty prescriptions.   
  • Supermarkets have highest overall satisfaction among pharmacy channels: Among all channels studied, supermarkets have the highest levels of overall customer satisfaction (859), followed by mail order (853); hospital or clinic (851); chain drug stores (849); specialty pharmacy (842); and mass merchandisers (839).

Study Rankings

Good Neighbor Pharmacy ranks highest overall among brick-and-mortar chain drug stores with a score of 889. Health Mart (886) ranks second and The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy ranks third (879).

Sam’s Club ranks highestoverall among brick-and-mortar mass merchandisers with a score of 874. Fred’s (873) ranks second and Costco (875) ranks third. While CVS Pharmacy at Target placed fifth this year, it had the largest increase in satisfaction of any pharmacy from 2016 (+20).

Brookshire Grocery Co. ranks highest overall among brick-and-mortar supermarkets with a score of 894. H-E-B (893) ranks second and BI-LO (891) ranks third.

Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy ranks highest overall in mail order (884). Humana Pharmacy (871) ranks second and Walmart Pharmacy Mail Services (864) ranks third.

Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy ranks highest among specialty pharmacies with a score of 853. BriovaRx (851) ranks second and CVS Specialty/CVS Caremark (840) ranks third.

While the Veterans Administration mail order pharmacy (CMOP) is not rank-eligible, it has been either the highest scoring or second-highest scoring mail order pharmacy every year the study has been conducted. In 2017, VA CMOP is the highest-scoring mail order pharmacy and the third-highest scoring pharmacy (892) across all segments. However, VA hospital and clinic pharmacies are the lowest-scoring pharmacies across all segments (786).

About the Study
The U.S. Pharmacy Study, now in its ninth year, measures customer satisfaction with brick-and-mortar, mail order, and specialty pharmacies. The 2017 study is based on responses from 17,326 pharmacy customers who filled a new prescription or refilled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period of May-June 2017.

For more information about the U.S. Pharmacy Study, visit

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.

Media Relations Contacts
Geno Effler; Costa Mesa, Calif.; 714-621-6224; [email protected]
John Roderick; St. James, N.Y.; 631-584-2200; [email protected]

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J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Pharmacy Study
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J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Pharmacy Study
J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Pharmacy Study
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