Monday, January 16, 2012

Walgreens-Express Script Dispute: Are you Affected?

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

Walgreens: Our Local Community Pharmacy

In light of reading press releases and news articles regarding Walgreens and Express Script, I have become a bit wiser and more knowledgeable about choosing a good pharmacy.  Walgreens has been serving our local community for a long time, and stores are located very conveniently for us as a family.  Walgreens also offers more 24-hour and drive thru pharmacies than any other pharmacy in the country! 

Our local Walgreens pharmacy is open till 10 pm on week days which is a life saver for us!  Too many times have we gone to a grocery pharmacy only to find it closed at 8pm!  So I am definitely thankful for the late night hours of our pharmacy.  With that, I am happy to say that Walgreens offers competitive pricing when it comes to prescriptions, additional saving by dispensing less expensive generic drugs more often than other pharmacies, and saving through 90-day supplies of medications instead of three, 30 day refills. 

Are you affected by Express Scripts?

Unfortunately as of January 1, 2012 those of you who are currently under the Express Scripts cannot fill prescriptions in your local Walgreens pharmacy.  Last year, there were negotiations going on between Walgreens and Express Scripts in order to renew a contract.  The negotiations fell through and were unsuccessful.  As a result Walgreens pharmacies nationwide and Duane Reade pharmacies in the New York City area are not a part of the Express Scripts' pharmacy provider network. 

To see if you are affected by this, you may check your prescription insurance card.  On the back if it has Express Scripts' name there, you may be affected.  If not, then you are not impacted.  To be certain please check with your local Walgreens pharmacist to find out if you are with or not with Express Scripts. 

Negatively speaking, for those of you under the Express Scripts’ plan will have to find an alternative pharmacist and pharmacy to fill your prescriptions!  This is not only such a hassle, but very inconvenient for those who might need to drive a little out of there way to find a pharmacy that Express Scripts covers.  With the loss of Walgreens as part of the provider network, one may see that the prices of their prescription will rise because Walgreens offers competitive pricing to their customers.  Without Walgreens prices may rise. 

What is Express Scripts?

For those who are unfamiliar with Express Scripts, Express Scripts is the go-between or the middle man, between pharmacies who provide the health care service and health plans who pay for the medications.  Their main focus is on their mail order prescription business instead of focusing on your local community pharmacy.  For our family, waiting for the mail to arrive can be quite inconvenient and not our first option. 

We would rather have a personable Walgreens pharmacist fill our prescription. The benefit of Walgreens is that we personally know the pharmacist and are able to ask any questions we may have upfront!  I think for those who do have Express Scripts may lose a pharmacist that they have seen or known for years.   way any questions we might have can be asked and answered right then and there!  Our family values our community pharmacy when we are unable to see the doctor for a simple flu shot or need some advice!

To help ease matters during this time, Walgreens is extending a Special Discount all through January to everyone including those under the Express Scripts plan.

Instead of having to switch pharmacists or having to find a pharmacy that is covered under the Express Scripts plan, one can take advantage of Walgreens' special discount 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 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. 

For more information on their Savings Club click here: Walgreens Prescription Savings Club

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