Most retail pharmacy customers received primary care on-site this year, study shows

More than half of retail pharmacy customers used primary care services at their pharmacy in the last year, according to J.D. Power's 2021 U.S. pharmacy study, released July 28. 

The study — based on responses from 12,646 pharmacy customers who filled a prescription within three months of the start of the survey period — found that 51 percent of retail pharmacy customers used primary care services in the last 12 months, up from 48 percent in the 2020 study and 43 percent in 2019. 

The survey period was September 2020 to May 2021. 

"It was not long ago that the major pharmacy chains, healthcare providers, health plans and consumers were all asking themselves whether or not people would ever feel comfortable receiving treatment in a retail setting," James Beem, managing director of healthcare intelligence at J.D. Power, said in a news release. 

The most commonly used services were vaccinations and routine screenings. 

Customers who used at least one primary care service at the pharmacy spend an average of $5 more than those who don't, the study found. Overall satisfaction with a pharmacy also increased in people using primary care services. 

"While we have been seeing consumer satisfaction with retail health services grow steadily, this year marks a significant turning point in which most customers are now using these services. The fact that this happened during a pandemic should send a clear signal that retail pharmacies are transforming health and wellness services in America," Mr. Beem said. 

The study also found that using mobile apps is becoming increasingly important for retail pharmacies. Twenty-six percent of brick-and-mortar pharmacy customers and 27 percent of mail-order pharmacy customers used their pharmacy's mobile app in the last 12 months.

Find the full study results here

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