Walgreens has spent the past year in negotiations with Express Scripts but negotiations were unsuccessful and the contract expired at the end of 2011. As of the first of the new year, Walgreens is no longer a part of the Express Scripts pharmacy provider network. This change is effecting many pharmacy patients who are now being forced to find another pharmacy in order to use their in-network benefits. The situation with Walgreens and Express Scripts is causing a great deal of hassle for patients and they are not seeing any reduction in costs, just an increased inconvenience. Express Scripts has even said that patients will not see an increase in savings as a result of this situation.
America’s military service men and women are also being greatly effected by this change. Tricare, their health and prescription program, is an Express Scripts client and Walgreens offered Express Scripts a guarantee that it would match or beat the average costs of all the other Tricare pharmacies in an effort to prevent those serving our country from being caught in the middle. Unfortunately Express Scripts rejected the efforts made by Walgreens.
Walgreens is trying to help those patients who have been Walgreens customers for years and have a personal relationship with their pharmacist by offering a special discount on an annual membership in the Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens. Throughout January, individuals can join for $5 and families can join for $10. Members receive savings on over 8,000 brand name medications and on all generic medications. Membership is normally $40 for individuals and $35 for families.