Sunday, January 15, 2012

Walgreens and Pharmacy Choice!

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

Have you been effected by the recent changes created by pharmacy insurance plans managed by Express Scripts?  I am talking about the recent inability of Express Scripts to come to an agreement with nationwide chain Walgreens, which means as of January 1, 2012 countless Walgreens pharmacy customers can no longer choose to have their prescriptions filled there if they want to have them covered by their insurance benefits. 

We become aware of the impending change many months ago as Walgreens began to inform us though letters and flyers that this change was on the horizon as Express Scripts became more and more difficult to negotiate with.   Walgreens says during negotiations that it didn’t ask for rate increases and offered to hold rates steady for commercial plans but Express Scripts rejected the offer.  Unfortunately, Express Scripts doesn’t just effect the commercial insured it also heavily influences the pharmacy choices of our military and military families. Walgreens went a step further in trying to negotiate on the military package.   Walgreens stated in a press release, Walgreens and Express Scripts  that it “Offered to negotiate the Tricare renewal separately from Express Scripts’ commercial business in order to continue to provide Walgreens services on an uninterrupted basis to all active and retired military personnel. Offered to lower Tricare reimbursement rates across the board resulting in double-digit million dollar savings to the U.S. military and taxpayers over the next few years; and provided an ironclad guarantee that Walgreens prices would match or beat the average costs per adjusted prescription of all other retail pharmacies in the Tricare network. Those costs would be compared on an apples-to-apples basis and verified by an objective third party each quarter. Walgreens also committed to reimbursing Tricare for any overage following the end of each quarterly review. ”

 We are Walgreens customers and prior to January 1, 2012 our insurance pharmacy coverage was with Express Scripts.  Fortunately, for us, my husband’s company chose to change pharmacy providers at the end of 2011 so we can continue to use Walgreens.  Walgreens is our pharmacy because they are convenient to our home, work and school, not to mention they have a 24 hour pharmacy and with children it seems we have used it more times than we could have ever imagined. We also have a daughter who goes to school out of state and her local Walgreens has made it easy to keep her medications filled and transferred as needed.    Sadly, many satisfied Walgreens customers no longer have this freedom to choose what works best for their family thanks to Express Scripts.

One help for those families affected by this change is a special discount on annual membership for the Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens.  For a $10 per year membership, everyone in your immediate family is covered, including a spouse, dependents 22 and younger and pets. Individuals may join for $5. Join and receive discount prices on your prescriptions. Other benefits include: Savings on more than 8,000 brand-name and all generic medications, discounts on flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizer and diabetic supplies and bonuses when you purchase Walgreens brand products and photo finishing services!  Show your support for Walgreens by following  Walgreens on Twitter  liking Walgreens on Facebook

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