Tens of Thousands of Customers Find Way to Stay with Walgreens and Take Advantage of Substantial Cost Savings on Medications
Prescription Savings Club promotion during January offers enrollment fee discount of more than 70 percent for new customers
DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- In the first days of the new year, tens of thousands of pharmacy patients have specifically chosen Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (NASDAQ: WAG) and taken advantage of Walgreens January promotion of its Prescription Savings Club (PSC). The PSC promotion offers one way for eligible patients under pharmacy benefit plans managed by Express Scripts, Inc. to avoid disruption caused by Express Scripts no longer offering network access to Walgreens pharmacies. The promotion of Walgreens PSC card, which lowers the enrollment fee during the month of January, is part of a comprehensive national effort by Walgreens to help patients who are covered by an Express Scripts pharmacy network continue using Walgreens when possible or make a smooth transition to another community pharmacy.
Due to a contract dispute, Express Scripts has stopped providing in-network coverage of prescriptions filled at Walgreens as of Jan. 1, 2012.
We value each and every Walgreens customer and are frustrated with Express Scripts decision to reject our very serious offer in December in an effort to avoid patient disruption, said Walgreens President of Pharmacy, Health and Wellness Solutions and Services Kermit Crawford. We apologize to our patients for the disruption caused by Express Scripts stance and are offering a discount in the cost of enrolling in our Prescription Savings Club. In our stores, pharmacists are reporting that our customers covered by Express Scripts plans are responding in significant numbers and choosing to stay with Walgreens.
PSC is an existing Walgreens drug discount program, with nearly 2 million people enrolled. The program offers savings on more than 8,000 brand name and all generic medications. For more than 400 generic medications, Walgreens offers a three-month supply for less than $1 a week. Normal annual membership is $20 per individual or $35 for a family. For the month of January (Jan. 1-31), Walgreens is offering a promotion on one-year memberships, making them only $5 for individuals or $10 for family memberships. This discount is open to all PSC eligible customers.
In recent days, we have heard from our customers and patients under Express Scripts plans that they are upset about losing access to Walgreens pharmacies as a result of Express Scripts actions, said Crawford. Our pharmacy patients have come to depend on their longstanding, personal relationships with their trusted Walgreens pharmacists, and they dont want to give that up, especially without any meaningful cost savings to justify this needless hardship. We offered in our contract negotiations to keep rates flat, and Express Scripts itself has stated that the elimination of Walgreens from its pharmacy network will not provide any reduction in costs for clients.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion. The company operates 7,811 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.
Michael Polzin, 847-315-2920
Source: WalgreensCopyright Business Wire 2012