Chances are if you have ever fill a prescription Express script has been the company to process it. Most people have never heard of express script it's because it's in the background :)
What is Express Script?
Express Scripts is a health care system middleman
Express Scripts acts as a middleman between pharmacies providing the health care service and employers and health plans who pay for the medications. Because Express Scripts is the middleman, most payers don’t see the rates Express Scripts pays to Walgreens. They only know what they pay Express Scripts. When they do see what Walgreens is paid, many health plans and employers are making decisions to continue to ensure access to Walgreens because they find our prices to be competitive and believe that we can lower overall health care costs.
Express Scripts continues to gain financially from its position as a middleman as its profits have grown at a rate more than two times the average of peers in health care. Historically brokers in a marketplace take a percentage of the cost of a product for putting the buyer and seller in contact. In Express Scripts’ case, the broker is growing profits faster than the provider of the service. When the middleman is more profitable than the providers, the relationship is out of balance.
Walgreens and Express Scripts
Beyond the contract issues, this issue between Express Scripts and Walgreens is really about the value of your local community pharmacy. Express Scripts wants customers to use their own mail order pharmacy business instead of your community pharmacy whenever possible. This could threaten all community drugstores in your area. Remember, community pharmacies are a valuable presence in your neighborhood when you need a pain medication as you leave the emergency room at 2 a.m., or need a flu shot and haven’t been able to get to the doctor’s office. Community pharmacies are often the first point of entry for many people into the health care system, and the value they provide by lowering overall health care costs should be recognized by Express Scripts.
Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens
What is happening to the customers?
One of Express Scripts’ clients is Tricare, which is the health and prescription drug program for America’s military service men and women. During negotiations, Walgreens took the unprecedented step of offering Express Scripts an ironclad guarantee that Walgreens prices would match or beat the average costs per adjusted prescription of all other pharmacies in the Tricare network.
Who is Tricare?
Walgreens did this in an effort to prevent our country’s military personnel from being caught in the middle. Walgreens also offered to contract separately with Express Scripts for Tricare from other Express Scripts commercial business, but these offers were rejected. Express Scripts continues to refuse to negotiate a separate contract for the benefit of the Tricare program and its beneficiaries.
What this means for Walgreens patients
Many patients under an Express Scripts plan have used Walgreens pharmacies for years and have a personal relationship with their Walgreens pharmacist. In an effort to minimize their disruption and inconvenience, Walgreens unveiled a comprehensive national effort to make this transition as smooth as possible and is doing all it can to help patients continue to use Walgreens when possible, or take care of them as they are forced to leave Walgreens in order to use their in-network coverage.
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.
4.) Walgreens wants to help. What in particular are they doing?
*offering a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club (http://www.walgreens.com/pharm…)
Among the steps Walgreen is taking to minimize the disruption is offering a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club. 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.
What can we do to help?
Support Walgreens and stay updated by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter @Walgreens. Please tell your friends on your blogs and other social media, chances are this will affect a member of your family or yourself.
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