Not sure if you are aware of this but, for the past year, Walgreens has negotiated with Express Scripts for a new contract to continue as part of its pharmacy provider network. The negotiations between Walgreens and Express Scripts were unsuccessful and the contract expired on Dec. 31, 2011. As a result, Walgreens is no longer part of Express Scripts' pharmacy provider network. This includes all Walgreens nationwide and the Duane Reed pharmacies in the New York City area.
I believe that this situation of forcing pharmacy patients to go elsewhere to use their in-network pharmacy benefits was totally unnecessary! Express Scripts' actions are causing disruption with no benefit to patients or their health plans!
Many patients, including myself, have formed a bond and a personal relationship with our local Walgreens pharmacy. The Walgreens I get my prescriptions filled at is within walking distance of our home, making it quick and convenient when either Mr. B or I is ill. When you are sick and in need of medicine, you want to go where you know you can have any questions answered by a real person, am I right?
Beyond the contract issues, this issue between Express Scripts and Walgreens is really about the value of your local pharmacy. Express Scripts wants customers to use their mail order pharmacy business instead of your community drugstore whenever possible! All I know, if I am sick and it's the middle of the night and my doctor prescribes a prescription, I need to be able to go to the pharmacy NOW, not get on the computer and place an order and hope I receive the correct medicine.
Walgreens is taking action and is offering a Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens at a discounted rate, for a limited time, to make this transition easier. You can enroll your family for only $10 a year, and an individual for $5 a year, at the current discounted rate. The family plan includes you, your spouse, dependents 22 years of age and under, and even your pets! By joining the Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens you will receive discount pricing on your prescriptions. Other savings include, discounts on over 8,000 brand-name and generic medications, flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizers, and diabetic supplies. You will also receive bonuses when you purchase Walgreens brand products and photo finishing services.
As always Walgreens is determined to continue to provide affordable reliable service to their customers. Among the steps Walgreens is taking to minimize the disruption is offering a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club. An individual can join, during the month of January, for only $5.00, or $10.00 for a family membership, and receive savings on more than 8,000 brand name and generic medications. More than 400 generic medications are available with a three month supply for less than $1.00 a week. Regular annual membership is $20.00 for an individual and $35.00 for a family.