Mail-order patients go generic

Here's an unlikely enemy for brand-name drugmakers: mail-order pharmacies. Patients who fill their scrips via mail order are much more likely to choose generic drugs, according to two new studies. The exact figure was 34 percent more likely, which study sponsor Express Scripts hailed as a money-saver, but Pharma might lament as a revenue-drainer.

Two pieces of good news, though. The study only covered blood pressure meds, so generic choice might vary for other therapeutic classes. And if patients do order brand-name drugs via mail order, they're likely to be repeat customers. Compliance among mail-order patients was a full seven percentage points higher than among those who use retail pharmacies.

- read the Express Scripts release