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Pharmacists Score High As Community Health Resource

11/06/03
                  Latest AmerisourceBergen Index(R) Explores
                    Pharmacists' Value to Their Customers

VALLEY FORGE, Pa., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to their ability to answer health-related questions, customers rank their pharmacists extremely high, according to the latest AmerisourceBergen Index(R).

Ninety-two percent of survey respondents described their pharmacists as qualified to answer health questions - with 64 percent describing their pharmacists as "very qualified." Those numbers were even higher among women (70 percent), 35-to-44-year-olds, and adults 55 and over.

The survey also registered a strong positive response for a similar question about the "value" of local pharmacies and pharmacists as a healthcare resource. Seventy-two percent of respondents said they found their pharmacies or pharmacists "extremely valuable" or "valuable," while 21 percent described them as "somewhat" valuable. Once again, women, 35-to-44-year-olds and older adults (65 plus) were most enthusiastic about their pharmacists.

These answers support the findings of an earlier AmerisourceBergen Index (July 2003) in which eight in 10 adults said they would recommend their pharmacist or pharmacy to friends or family members, and 56 percent said they were more satisfied today with the service they receive from their local pharmacies than they were a few years ago.

Consumers also reported having a large number of pharmacy choices in their neighborhoods, with 68 percent saying they had four or more local pharmacies. Only 28 percent reported having three or less.

The subject of automated pharmacy technologies is probably not yet top-of- mind for most consumers. Given this, it was interesting that more than one third of respondents said they would feel more confident about receiving the correct medication and dose if a prescription were filled via automation. Here, too, there were gender differences, with 42 percent of men answering yes to this question versus 32 percent of women.

In another question that reflected gender differences, respondents were asked whether they were responsible for administering medications to someone other than themselves, such as a parent or other relative. Almost one quarter of women answered yes, while only 12 percent of men gave a positive response to this question. The number of affirmative answers was also higher among 25-to-44-year-olds, who are presumably responsible for dispensing medications to children or parents.

Survey Methodology

The AmerisourceBergen Index(R) is a quarterly survey of trends, purchasing behaviors and opinions about pharmacists and their customers. The current survey of 1039 adults was conducted by telephone from October 24-27, 2003 by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of AmerisourceBergen, the largest pharmaceutical services company in the United States dedicated solely to the pharmaceutical supply channel. The margin of error is plus or minus three percent.

About AmerisourceBergen

AmerisourceBergen (NYSE: ABC) is the largest pharmaceutical services company in the United States dedicated solely to the pharmaceutical supply chain. It is the leading distributor of pharmaceutical products and services to the hospital systems/acute care market, physician's offices, alternate care and mail order facilities, independent community pharmacies, and regional chain pharmacies. The Company is also a leader in the long term care pharmacy and workers' compensation fulfillment marketplaces. With more than $40 billion in annualized operating revenue, AmerisourceBergen is headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, and employs more than 13,000 people. AmerisourceBergen is ranked #24 on the Fortune 500 list and was ranked #6 in the 2003 Business Week 50, a list of the 50 best performing companies in the S & P 500. For more information, go to www.amerisourcebergen.com.

(C) Copyright 2003 AmerisourceBergen Corporation.

SOURCE  AmerisourceBergen Corporation
CONTACT:  Barbara Brungess of AmerisourceBergen, +1-610-727-7199,
bbrungess@amerisourcebergen.com; or Iris Raylesberg of Kapnek Communications,
+1-215-830-9890, iris@kapnek.com, for AmerisourceBergen
  

Corporate Overview

AmerisourceBergen is one of the largest global pharmaceutical sourcing and distribution services companies, helping both healthcare providers and pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers improve patient access to products and enhance patient care. With services ranging from drug distribution and niche premium logistics to reimbursement and pharmaceutical consulting services, AmerisourceBergen delivers innovative programs and solutions across the pharmaceutical supply channel..

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