viernes, 13 de enero de 2012

Walgreens and Express Scripts: A battle without solution?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Since early this year I have been reading about a story that has attracted much attention, especially when it comes to health issues and health plan administration. This news has to do with the termination of its contract between Walgreens and the intermediary services Express Scripts. While it is true that the terms under which the contract was signed does not care to patients and the community at large, is no less true that the consequences of termination of the contract between the two companies raise many questions and may present problems patients using the Walgreens drugstore chain through the service provided by Express Scripts.

My question is: Why are patients who must suffer the consequences of the expiry of the contract? Who is affected? Walgreens or Express Scripts? Neither, really affected are customers and patients.

Only patients with certain prescription insurance plans managed by Express Scripts are impacted. It is best to check with your local Walgreens pharmacist to find out for sure if you’re impacted. Patients also can check the back of their prescription insurance card – if it has Express Scripts’ name there, then they may be affected. If it doesn’t say Express Scripts, then they are not affected.

How are customers feeling?

With the expiration of the contract that existed between Walgreens and Express Scripts, perhaps patients could be forced to change suppliers of pharmacy, to avoid that Walgreens has initiated a program to improve customer benefits and current patients to not be affected dramatically.

Among the steps to minimize the disruption the big pharmaceutical chain is offering a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens. An individual can join during a special January promotion for only $5, or $10 for a family membership, and receive savings on more than 8,000 brand name and all generic medications. More than 400 generics are available with a three-month supply for less than $1 a week. Regular annual membership is $20 for an individual and $35 for a family.

This is important: Walgreens wants to help support and serve the troops, but with the expiration of the contract that bound both parties, the TRICARE military dependent is affected too, for that reason over 250,000 TRICARE beneficiaries sign petition to protect their choice of Walgreens as a pharmacy and health care provider, not only by prices and costs of pharmaceuticals and health products, also for the relationship and identification with the brand and the pharmacist to whom they have known for a long time.

Maybe it's time that both parties (Walgreens and Express Scripts) talk and do business together again, not only for mutual economic benefit, also to benefit all those who depend on their services.

You can follow Walgreens on Twitter or Walgreens on Facebook for more information.

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