Inside This Issue - News
Walgreens stays course
January 9th, 2012
DEERFIELD, Ill. – A last ditch effort by Walgreen Co. to settle its dispute with Express Scripts Inc. failed to raise hopes for a contract renewal, the drug chain’s chief executive said last month.
The response of the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) to Walgreens’ overture in December "was not very meaningful," CEO Greg Wasson said during a conference call with analysts. "The response was suggested to kick the can down the road ... which frankly, doesn’t do anything to minimize the disruption for our patients."
That said, Walgreens reaffirmed its belief that the long-term ramifications of accepting Express Scripts’ “below market proposal” would be much worse than any short-term impact to the retailer’s earnings.
Wasson noted that the chain has seen an increasing number of health plans and employers taking measures to ensure it will remain in their pharmacy networks. "In addition, we are in active negotiations with many more to provide access to Walgreens in their networks as soon as their contracts allow," he commented.
As of the start of winter, well over 100 health plans, employers and other Express Scripts clients had informed Walgreens that they had either changed PBMs or had taken steps consistent with their contracts to maintain access to Walgreens pharmacies in 2012.