Written by Meredith Shepherd
Walgreens is starting the new 2012 year by losing millions of its customers. The well-known pharmacy will no longer provide to those customers whose health insurance is covered by Express Scripts.
Walgreens and Express Scripts have been dueling over payment issues for some time now and Walgreens said Wednesday it has been unsuccessful at getting most of its customers who have Express Scripts to switch to another pharmacy benefit manager even though Walgreens will no longer be accepting the insurance.
Customers whom get their prescriptions covered by Express Scripts of Walgreens will now have to face either switching to another pharmacy or paying full out of pocket for their prescriptions.
“While we remain open to any fair and competitive offer from Express Scripts, we firmly believe that accepting their proposal was not in the best interests of our shareholders,” said Walgreens’s chief executive, Gregory D. Wasson, in a statement.
Walgreens has concluded that its negotiations with health plans and employers had resulted in retaining 10 million of the 90 million prescriptions managed by Express Scripts that were filled by Walgreens in the fiscal year that ended Aug 21.
Thom Gross, an Express Scripts spokesman said Wednesday that his company remained willing to strike a new deal with Walgreens if the price were right. “As always, we are open to having them in our network at rates and terms that are right for our clients,” he said.
According to the NY Times, the contract between the two major companies has already had a slight impact on Walgreens earnings. Walgreens said it expected a total prescription volume for the fiscal 2012 year to drop 1 to 3 percent with Express Scripts and contact directly with Walgreens.