Walgreens-Express Scripts Split Has Consumers Checking Their Insurance Cards
Chicago Tribune: Express Scripts Loss No 'Death Knell' For Walgreen
As the clock ticked down on the pending divorce of Walgreen Co. and one of its largest customers, rivals of the drugstore giant raced to woo millions of soon-to-be-displaced consumers whose medications wouldn't be covered by insurance at its stores come Jan. 1. CVS Caremark, Rite Aid and other small- to medium-size drugstores launched advertising campaigns and beefed up staff in anticipation of adding tens of millions of new prescriptions should Walgreen and Express Scripts Inc. fail to come to terms on a new contract starting in 2012 (Frost, 1/8).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Millions Find Walgreens No Longer IN Their Rx Networks
Express Scripts had been negotiating a new contract to keep Walgreens in its network. But "their rates and terms would be as much as 20 percent more," according to Express Scripts spokesman Brian Henry. "Our clients aren’t willing to pay that premium for basically the same service you can get at many other thousands of our pharmacies." That's a charge that Walgreens adamantly denies (Varney, 1/9).
St. Louis Beacon: Walgreens, Express Scripts Split Sends Customers Scrambling for New Options
Thom Gross, spokesperson for Express Scripts, says the disruptions have been minimal because Express Scripts has many members to accommodate those leaving Walgreens. Besides independent and hospital-based pharmacies, the network includes several major pharmacies, including CVS, Medicine Shoppe, Walmart, Sam's Club, Costco, Target, Schnucks, Shop 'n Save, Dierbergs, and Kmart, says Gross (Joiner, 1/6).
Bloomberg: Walgreen Is Open to Deal for Express Scripts Network, Pharmacy Chief Says
Walgreen Co. (WAG) is willing to resume selling prescriptions to Express Scripts Inc. (ESRX) customers after the end of their contract Dec. 31 forced millions of consumers to switch pharmacies, Walgreen's pharmacy-services chief said. ... Express Scripts is open to an agreement with Walgreen, Brian Henry, an Express Scripts spokesman, said in an e-mail. Still, Walgreen wants to be paid more than other pharmacies, he said (Burritt, 1/6).