For many years, Walgreens has been a part of the Express Scripts pharmacy provider network. If your not familiar with Express Scripts, they are a company who acts like a middleman between pharmacies and employers & heath plans who pay for medication. They make a contract with Walgreens that allows them to be on the list of accepted pharmacies that employers/health plans are able to use. These contracts come up for renewal at various times. However, the negotiations for the current contract renewal were unsuccessful and Walgreens was removed from the program as of Jan 1, 2012. Walgreens has attempted to work with Express Scripts, but nothing has come of it. For more information on this, you can view the following press release: Walgreens and Express Script
This change includes all Walgreens nationwide and Duane Reade pharmacies, which are located thought New York City. The only people who are affected are those under certain Express Scripts plans. To see if this affects you, you can contact your Walgreens pharmacy or check your prescription insurance card. If it says Express Scrips, then you may be affected. You’ll still need to contact your pharmacist to make sure.
In the mean time, Walgreens is doing all that they can to lessen the impact on the affected customers. They are offering those affected a special discount on annual membership for its Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. For $10 a year, a family membership covers everyone in your immediate family, including a spouse, dependents 22 and under, and also pets. Individuals may join for just $5. When you join, you will receive discount prices on your prescriptions, plus bonuses when you purchase Walgreens brand products & photo finishing services. There are other benefits as well, including savings on over 8,000 brand-name & all generic medication. You will also get discounts on flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizers and diabetic supplies.