This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.
The other day I drove past a CVS that had a big banner in front saying “Welcome Express Scripts Customers!” and I wondered what that meant. I see banners and signs like that often when a small pharmacy is closing (sadly) and the costumers are migrating to the bigger chain pharmacies, but Express Scripts is not a pharmacy I had ever heard of… Actually I didn’t think it sounded much like a pharmacy name to begin with.
And then I got an offer from Social Spark to write about some drama surrounding Express Scripts Inc and Walgreens and of course I was interested to learn more. If you’re like me and have no idea what Express Scripts is.. let me fill you in!
Express Scripts Inc is a prescription program offered by health insurance companies, including Tricare (the health and prescription program offered to America’s service men and women). Typically, at least in my experience, when going to the doctor and being given a prescription you’re asked which pharmacy you would like it “called in to”. Your prescription will then be available for you to pick up at that pharmacy – typically quite close to your home or your work.. or wherever else you choose.
Unfortunately due to a lack of contract renewal on the part of Express Scripts, Walgreens will no longer be a choice for Express Scripts clients. I personally use a CVS if I have a prescription needing to be filled because it is one block from my home. I would be rather upset if suddenly this was no longer than option as it is extremely convenient for me, I am comfortable there, and I am familiar with the pharmacists.
Imagine you have been going to your local Walgreens for years and have built up a relationship with the pharmacists and you have to give that up. Pharmacists are more than simply the people who fill the pill bottles – they’re useful resources for us all and should be utilized for people who have any questions about their medications. I think we all probably reference them too infrequently, actually, but imagine that you use that resource often but you suddenly have to pick up and move elsewhere? The thought does not seem very attractive to me, especially due to the circumstances.
In short Walgreens was willing to hold contract terms steady and Express Scripts wanted to make seemingly unnecessary changes that would also hurt Walgreens’ profits. They wanted the opportunity to be in complete control of contract terms. It doesn’t even sound like this will benefit Express Scripts! In fact Express Scripts is one of those middle man types that I really dislike – they work behind the scenes so you don’t really see what happens but it seems they’re making quite a big profit by being the middleman between the provider and the pharmacy.
This won’t affect everyone.. so make sure you check with your prescription plan or with your Walgreens pharmacist to be sure.
Obviously quite a few Walgreens customers are upset about this transition. In response one of the steps Walgreens is taking is offering a special discount on their Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens annual memberships. During the month of January you can join for only $5 (or $10 for a family) and receive savings on over 8,000 brand name and generic medications. (Regular membership costs are $20/$35)
If you’re upset about this issue don’t keep quite – I’m the “I’m going to write a letter” type. Tell someone how you feel – take the social media, contact your local news, write someone a letter, whatever you feel comfortable doing. If you’re dissatisfied with the service you are now receiving from Express Scripts you should certainly say something.
For more information check out this press release – Walgreens and Express Scripts.