Express Scripts disappoints loyal Walgreens customers

This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.

Walgreens has been my family’s pharmacy of choice for some time. This came about because we travel extensively and need a pharmacy that we are confident can access our information and help us wherever we are—whether that is here in Birmingham, in Atlanta or at Rosemary Beach, Florida. We also have learned the importance of doing business with a chain that offers a 24-hour location. For us, the proximity of Walgreens to our home (we have to pass three Walgreens locations to get to another major chain that meets our criteria) is one reason we selected Walgreens, and now this convenience is tossed aside by the fiat of Express Scripts.

This irritates us. My wife and I are unhappy with being forced to change our pharmacy. We can select a couple of grocery store pharmacies that are nearby, but fail to offer the convenient hours of Walgreens and nationwide reach, or go to another national chain that is 25 minutes away from our home (not counting Hwy. 280 traffic that probably makes it more like a 50-minute drive.)

Both choices are bad.  

And this bad situation plays right into Express Script’s hands—since Express Scripts wants people to use the mail order pharmacy. This power play includes the U.S. military’s Tricare program.

So in my opinion, this is really all about money. Walgreens said in a press release, about Walgreens and Express Scripts , that it has offered to work with Express Scripts in both the commercial business and with the military Tricare program. Unfortunately for us consumers, Express Scripts wasn’t interested in keeping us happy. Walgreens claims to have offered to keep rates unchanged and that Walgreens did not seek a rate increase for the commercial plan. Walgreens went further on the military package.

According to the corporate release, Walgreens: “Offered to negotiate the Tricare renewal separately from Express Scripts’ commercial business in order to continue to provide Walgreens services on an uninterrupted basis to all active and retired military personnel. Offered to lower Tricare reimbursement rates across the board resulting in double-digit million dollar savings to the U.S. military and taxpayers over the next few years; and provided an ironclad guarantee that Walgreens prices would match or beat the average costs per adjusted prescription of all other retail pharmacies in the Tricare network. Those costs would be compared on an apples-to-apples basis and verified by an objective third party each quarter. Walgreens also committed to reimbursing Tricare for any overage following the end of each quarterly review.”

However, all that wasn’t enough.

If you aren’t happy about it, you should reach out and let members of the press and Express Scripts know about your discontent.

For consumers who aren’t interested in moving pharmacies, Walgreens offers a promotion with the Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens includes savings on 8,000 brand name and generic medications. Walgreens is running a special promotion in January with a $5 membership for an individual (regular cost $20) or $10 for a family membership (regular cost $35).

You can keep up with the latest by following Walgreens on Twitter  or liking Walgreens on Facebook.

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25 Comments

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  1. 1
    patricia

    I’d much rather use Walgreens versus their competition so I’m relieved that my prescription coverage isn’t effected by this ridiculous power play by Express Scripts. Walgreens also already offers competitive prices on so many other products & items.

  2. 3
    Express Scripts disappoints loyal Walgreens customers – Capstone Report | Rss News Desk | Daily News Magazine

    […] Express Scripts disappoints loyal Walgreens customersCapstone ReportWalgreens has been my family's pharmacy of choice for some time. This came about because we travel extensively and need a pharmacy that we are confident can access our information and help us wherever we are—whether that is here in Birmingham, …Walgreens spat sends millions to new pharmaciesSan Francisco ChronicleDrugstore wars … on Twitter!CNNPrescription Benefits in DangerTimesLedgerPennLive.com -BlissTree -Baltimore Business Journalall 25 news articles » […]

  3. 4
    Express Scripts disappoints loyal Walgreens customers – Capstone Report | emedicalnews.net

    […] Express Scripts disappoints loyal Walgreens customersCapstone ReportWalgreens has been my family's pharmacy of choice for some time. This came about because we travel extensively and need a pharmacy that we are confident can access our information and help us wherever we are—whether that is here in Birmingham, …Walgreens spat sends millions to new pharmaciesSan Francisco ChronicleDrugstore wars … on Twitter!CNNPrescription Benefits in DangerTimesLedgerPennLive.com -BlissTree -Baltimore Business Journalall 25 news articles » […]

  4. 5
    leroy schultz

    Walgreens is priced higher than most other pharm.
    and they justify being higher because they claim to
    have better service etc. I would suspect that you will
    find that parties have issues and it is,no doubt,
    primarily about money but what makes Walgreens
    better than the rest and entitled to a different and
    better deal? Next time negotiations come up the other
    “players”will want a better deal like Walgreens and
    who ends up getting the short end with higher prices?
    the consumer!

  5. 6
    Express Scripts disappoints loyal Walgreens customers – Capstone Report | headlinenewsreport.org

    […] Express Scripts disappoints loyal Walgreens customersCapstone ReportWalgreens has been my family's pharmacy of choice for some time. This came about because we travel extensively and need a pharmacy that we are confident can access our information and help us wherever we are—whether that is here in Birmingham, …Walgreens spat sends millions to new pharmaciesSan Francisco ChronicleDrugstore wars … on Twitter!CNNPrescription Benefits in DangerTimesLedgerPennLive.com -BlissTree -Baltimore Business Journalall 25 news articles » […]

  6. 7
    Express Scripts disappoints loyal Walgreens customers – Capstone Report | Best News Feed - Daily News Magazine

    […] Express Scripts disappoints loyal Walgreens customersCapstone ReportWalgreens has been my family's pharmacy of choice for some time. This came about because we travel extensively and need a pharmacy that we are confident can access our information and help us wherever we are—whether that is here in Birmingham, …Walgreens spat sends millions to new pharmaciesSan Francisco ChronicleDrugstore wars … on Twitter!CNNPrescription Benefits in DangerTimesLedgerPennLive.com -BlissTree -Baltimore Business Journalall 25 news articles » […]

  7. 9
    b

    As a pharmacist, I can tell you that Walgreens is the most over priced pharmacy there is. It makes sense that a powerful PBM like Express scripts refuses to do business with walgreens.

    Walgreens = consumer convenience, but has no other benefits.

    I also disagree with the stressed staffing environment that walgreens demands of their pharmacists and techs.

  8. 10
    Amy

    I am a Walgreens pharmacist and I can tell you that our prices are competitive. I have to do quarterly price checks and if the list contains 10 drugs we are always the cheapest on at least 2. Walmart will be the cheapest on a couple, CVS a couple etc. Just because we don’t have a $4 list exactly like Walmart doesn’t mean that Walmart doesn’t jack up the prices on brand name medications and controlled substances. Not to mention the other products they sell in the store. Walmart has caused the entire profession of pharmacy to suffer. Pharmacist, no matter where they work, should realize that and support Walgreens in the decision to take on Express Scripts. Yes Walgreens is trying to make money. They are a business! Express Scripts did not even want to reimburse the cost it takes to fill a prescription. If places like Walmart and CVS do not follow Walgreens lead all of our salaries and our jobs will be in the line.

  9. 11
    Lou Bernocco

    I think that when my medical insurance becomes up for renewal, maybe it’s time to change. I think that the express scripts stinks, their service and they are ignorant . Walgreen is better than cvs and most other pharmacies. The fact I have to change is very upsetting.

  10. 12
    pinkeighteenwheeler

    I agree completely. Do they realize the healthcare providers time involved in changing all these prescriptions sending them to a new different pharmacy

  11. 13
    jennifer

    Express Scripts is a joke. All of the contact I have had with this company was negative. Their customer service is non existent and they should be ashamed of how they treat people. I hope I NEVER have to go through them again….I would rather be physically ill than support such a horrible company.

  12. 14
    Crimsonite

    The hell with all of them. We need Canada’s system period! The medical and pharmacutical industries in this country are all corrupt. I live just across the border in Mexico and here even without nationalized medicine like Canada, the prices are pennies on the dollar compared to the US. For example I went to a hospitals emergency room for stiches in my head and it cost me 300 pesos which right now would be $23. A bottle antibiotics with out prescription, of ten 1000 mg capsules of 875 mg Amoxycillin and 125 mg Clavulin Acid costs 800 pesos which is about $6.10. Believe me, Americans have much more serious problems with the medical and pharmacutical industries than just this little aggravation you are discussing.

  13. 15
    Jessica

    I’m a proud Walgreens worker and although my job can be one of the most difficult at times- I’m still there. Sure I could leave and go to another pharmacy, but for less pay, horrible customer service, less of a customer base, and NONE are 24 hour. I’ve SEEN other pharmacies in action, and I’m not trying to bash on all of them, but if you think Walgreens is bad, you’ve got another thing coming when you go elsewhere. We strive to do the best for our customers, everyday, all day. And yes some of our prices may not be $4 RX’s but we can be extremely competitive and have loyal customers willing to pay a couple bucks more for better customer service. I personally work at a 24 hour location and work 40 hours a week at the busiest location in my district (made up of at least 20+ stores) and I bust my butt on a daily basis to keep customers happy.
    Express Scripts left us because they didn’t want to pay us, it’s as simple as that. We’re a business, and being such deserve to be paid for our services. I truly hope you loyal customers out there are committed to sticking with us, because I guarantee we’ll do our absolute best to please you.
    As for Canadian meds and Mexican pharmacies, I hope you understand-they have no where near as many laws to follow in dispensing you a prescription. AKA-you have NO IDEA what they use to make their meds, when they may have expired, or where the heck they come from. Basically, when we dispense a prescription in AMERICA, we have thousands of things we need to guarantee before the product makes it to the customer. When you buy outside the U.S.-alot of those guarantees go out the window, so good luck with those medications.

  14. 16
    Crimsonite

    Bullshyt! That’s exactly what the money grabbing government and pharmacutical companies want you to believe! The vast majority of drugs in Mexico are manufactured by Roche of Great Brittain which is a major supplier to the US also. Every drug in Mexico has an expiration date. In 14 years in Mexico every drug I have ever used has worked to perfection no matter if it was manufactured by Roche, by a major Mexican company or was generic. What’s more, the US laws are bullshit. I have a bottle of Naproxen sold by Family Dollar and was manufactured in phucking INDIA! You think US laws protect you from that? If Mexico is a third world country, then India is a sixth! Explain how antifreeze laced toothpaste from China which killed several and made hundreds sick, managed to be sold throughout the US? It’s all bullshyt and won’t stop unless you stop it at the polls. You need to elect a government which cares more for the people than for lining their pockets with dollars and phucks you all the way to the bank!

  15. 19
    Robert

    I believe there are thousands of Tricare customers with this problem now. Over the last few years I have picked up medications at all hours of the night at Walgreens. I now have meds waiting at a grocery store pharmacy that closes at six pm. I very rarely get there before seven pm.
    I also get an annual report from Walgreens with a complete list of every Medication used during the year and the cost. This has been very helpful in tracking medication usage and for tax filing. I am not aware of anyone else who provides this kind of service.
    Who ever chose Express Scripts to administer Tricare did not do us any favors.

  16. 20
    Randy Havens

    I could not agree more. Express Scripts is worthless!!!! I switched to CVS and found their service to be slow and terrible.

  17. 21
    Dr j dino. Jadd

    Good luck to all my loyal customers , any question regarding it ur rx call Walgreens . We are still here for all loyal customers!!

  18. 22
    Dr j dino. Jadd

    Good luck to all my loyal customers , any question regarding it ur rx call Walgreens . We are still here for all loyal customers!! Call Walgreen anytime. We have the most 24 ht stores and we are always open .

  19. 25
    ryan

    I got a Walgreen prescription saving card and it is better than my insurance co-pay. I paid $5 for the card (special offer for Jan ’12) and $12 for a 90 day supply of my medication. My co pay was going to be $10 for a 30day, so I am saving at least $67 this year.
    If you are curious about Walgreens PSC card covering your medication, you can look it up on their website or ask the pharmacy.

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