This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.
Over the past year, Walgreens and Express Script has been renegotiating their contract to continue to keep Express Scripts clients as Walgreen's Pharmacy customers. Unfortunately these efforts have failed, thus causing the current contract to expire on December 31, 2011. Express Scripts is no longer including Walgreens in their pharmacy provider network which is requiring it's clients to switch pharmacies and often times travel outside their normal drive time to fill their prescriptions. This is causing a massive uproar with Express Script clients who have come to know their Walgreens pharmacists over the years and expect that same quality of care every time they refill. Now they are being forced to go to new pharmacies, many of which do not have the same conveniences of Walgreens stores and pharmacies. This effects Walgreens stores nationwide, as well as Duane Reade pharmacies.
Think this doesn't apply to you or someone you know or care about? Think again.
One of Express Scripts clients is TriCare. Don't know who tri-care is? It's the health and drug program for America's military service men and women. During negotiations, Walgreens guarenteed that Walgreens prices would match or beat the average cost per adjusted prescription in all of the pharmacies in the tricare network. They also offered to hold rates flat and NOT ask for an increase. Walgreens offered this in an effort to protect our service men and women from being caught in the middle. This effort was declined by Express Scripts. This is unacceptable to force our military service men (and women!) to change yet another thing about their daily lives and routine. I encourage you to contact your local media outlets and voice your dissatisfaction with this negotiation.
Express Scripts itself has stated that clients will not see any significant savings from excluding Walgreends from it's network. In fact, costs may even go up without Walgreens because we offer 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. ~ Walgreens
Who can help?
Walgreens is making every effort to make this transition as smooth as possible for their customers. They're offering a special discount on Annual Memberships for it's Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. During the month of January an individual can join for a special promotion of $5 and a family can receive a membership for $10. With this membership, you will receive savings on more than 8,000 brand name medications, as well as, all generic medications. There are more than 400 generic medications available with a 3 month supply for less than $1 per week. The regular annual membership is $20 for individuals and $35 for families.