Walgreens makes case of value outside of Express Scripts in SEC filing

'Negotiations remain at an impasse' with ESI, retailer says

CHICAGO — Walgreens on Tuesday filed a document with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission titled "The Value of Walgreens" that specifically outlined what Walgreens can bring to an employer, exclusive of any relationship with a pharmacy benefit manager, such as Express Scripts. Specifically regarding its negotiations with Express Scripts, Walgreens stated: "Negotiations remain at an impasse, and Walgreens has begun informing patients that we will not be part of the Express Scripts network as of January 1, 2012."

"Excluding Walgreens from a pharmacy network will result in little to no savings for most sponsors and patients, and in some cases will raise costs while causing significant patient disruption, risking gaps in care and increasing administrative costs on plan sponsors," Walgreens stated. "There are options: Walgreens can contract directly with plan sponsors, or help plan sponsors establish a custom retail pharmacy network, if consistent with their current PBM agreements. Walgreens believes that our costs are in line with other retail pharmacies. In most cases, this would mean that Walgreens' average cost per adjusted script will be within 2% of the average cost per adjusted script of the non-Walgreens retail pharmacy network, on an apples-to-apples basis."

Taken in its entirety, the white paper outlines the value that Walgreens provides to pharmacy benefit plan networks and addresses a number of claims Express Scripts has made in connection with the contract renewal impasse, including whether or not the 8,000-store chain offers competitive unit prices. The Chicago-based pharmacy also argued that networks with Walgreens can lower overall prescription costs through a combination of three factors: competitive unit prices, higher-than-average rates of dispensing generic drugs and promoting 90-day at retail supply of prescriptions where appropriate.

For the full white paper, click here.

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