Blogger Talking Points for Walgreens-Express Scripts Dispute

This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.

Express Scripts Inc has decided that Walgreens will no longer be in its network, doing so has upset thousands of customers. For the past year Walgreens has negotiated with Express Scripts for a new contract to continue as part of its pharmacy provider network. Express Scripts makes the use of prescription drugs safer and more affordable. Those discussions were unsuccessful. Express Scripts improves health outcomes and lower medicine costs for American families .On Dec 31 the contract between Express Script and Walgreens ended. Walgreens is no longer element of Express Scripts’ pharmacy provider network as of Jan. 1, 2012. Earlier all Walgreens pharmacies nationwide and Duane Reade pharmacies in the New York City area are art of Express Scripts. Due to this unwanted situation in-network pharmacy benefits acquired by million of customers are now in a halt. Express Scripts’ untimely disruption action causing disturbances to patients and their health plans. This is unwarranted from the Express Scripts’ as it seems due to their action million of patients has been on the negating side of the health care and also Express Scripts is driving away the power from the innocent and honest Walgreens and they have been devoid of their wonderful duties of serving the humanity, and this only happens due to Express Scripts. Walgreens is America’s online pharmacy serving your needs for prescriptions, health & wellness products, health information and photo services. Patients covered by an Express Scripts plan now find themselves not only having to change their pharmacists, but many are having to drive farther to get prescriptions filled at pharmacies with less convenient hours for their hectic schedules. Walgreens offers more 24-hour and drive-thru pharmacies than any other pharmacy in the country. The real losses to the patients and for health every minutes bites and for this the Walgreens work has been fantastic. With Walgreens you get individual membership for only meager 5$ and every day 25$ shipping free. Walgreens is like a prescription saving club. Due to Express script’s action patient are to undergo more hassle and more pain but without any gain.

 

Express Scripts makes the use of prescription drugs safer and more affordable for tens of millions of consumers through thousands of employers, government, union and health plans. It operates at low cost and better health value to customers. It is the industry leader in this market segment. Express Scripts is the retail pharmacy and it gives home delivery to millions of customers.

 

During negotiations, Walgreens suggested to hold rates for a new contract flat and did not seek an increase in rates. The response from Express Scripts was disappointing as it is  insisting  to unilaterally determine contract terms and services, for example  what does and does not constitute a brand and generic drug , this is very dangerous as this can fuel bad medicine practices which Walgreens opposed . Express Scripts also proposed to reduce drastically Walgreens reimbursement rates to levels below the industry average cost to provide each prescription, that is very disappointing, and it is against human’s health. It seems that Express Script is playing with the life of patients and want to earn more by making the business out of significant human lives. Costs may even go up without Walgreens because of lack of competitive pricing, additional savings by dispensing less expensive generic drugs more often than other pharmacies, and savings through 90-day supplies of medications at our retail pharmacies versus three, 30-day refills.

 

One of the major Express Script clients is Tricare; Tricare is the health and prescription drug program for America’s military service men and women. Walgreens also offered to contract separately with Express Scripts for Tricare from other Express Scripts commercial business, but these offers were rejected. Walgreens offered to contract separately with Express Scripts for Tricare from other Express Scripts commercial business, but these offers were rejected vehemently. Till to date Express Script is continuing in denial for a separate agreement for Tricare with Walgreens but Express Script is still in denial. Express Scripts continues to refuse to negotiate a separate contract for the benefit of the Tricare program and its beneficiaries.

 

Patients under an Express Scripts plan have used Walgreens pharmacies for years and have a personal relationship with their Walgreens pharmacist. In an action to minimize their disruption, Walgreens unveiled a comprehensive national effort to make this transition as smooth as possible and is doing all it can to help patients continue to use Walgreens when possible, or take care of them as they are forced to leave Walgreens in order to use their in-network coverage.

 

Among the steps Walgreens is taking to minimize the disruption:Walgreens and Express Scripts

 

    a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens

    Special January promotion for only $5, or $10 for a family membership, and receive savings on more than 8,000 brand name and all generic medications.

    Regular annual membership is $20 for an individual and $35 for a family.

Walgreens prescription saving club is offering a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club. Read more from here

 

Express Scripts acts as a middleman between pharmacies providing the health care service. Many health plans and employers are making decisions to continue to ensure access to Walgreens because they find  Walgreens prices to be competitive and believe that it can lower overall health care costs. The sad part is In Express Scripts’ case, the broker is growing profits faster than the provider of the service that is Walgreens.  When the middleman is more profitable than the providers, the relationship is out of balance.

 

Beyond the contract issues, the principal issue between Express Scripts and Walgreens is really the value of your local community pharmacy. Express Scripts wants customers to use their own mail order pharmacy business instead of your community pharmacy whenever possible. This could stop all community drugstores in your area. Community is pharmacy is like emergency services. These are often the first point of entry for many people into the health care system, and the value proposition augmented by lowering overall health care costs should be recognized by Express Scripts.

 

A Walgreens proprietary survey was taken with 823 executives and managers who are key decision makers they would not exclude Walgreens for less than 5 percent savings on their total pharmacy spend. Sixty percent of employers would not exclude Walgreens for less than 10 percent savings, and 21 percent would not exclude Walgreens from their network regardless of the amount of savings. Employer’s value having Walgreens as a pharmacy option for their employees, but Express Scripts wants to take that choice away.

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation’s largest drugstore chain. The company operates 7,786 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multi channel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector.

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