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DEERFIELD, Ill. — In its battle with Express Scripts, Walgreens is not only seeking to retain that prescription base payer by payer, but also patient by patient, as evidenced by the more than 500,000 customers who have taken advantage of Walgreens' Prescription Savings Club since Jan. 1, according to company officials.
And while Walgreens has discounted that pre-existing savings program this month, the $25 in savings is not the primary reason patients are signing on in record numbers — it's choice. “Being a patient [at Walgreens] for more than 15 years, I was very upset that Express Scripts wouldn’t cover my prescriptions," noted Walgreens pharmacy patient Janet Paz, who frequents a Walgreens in Lowell, Mass. "To me, it’s more than a pharmacy, it’s a friendship. When my pharmacist took the time to tell me about the Prescription Savings Club, we discovered that I could actually save on medications including one that my plan doesn’t even cover," she added.
The PSC card promotion 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, the pharmacy operator stated. That program had been priced at $20 for individual and $35 for family, but for January Walgreens discounted that program to $5 for individual and $10 for family. According to Walgreens, the PSC 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.
“We have heard from hundreds of thousands of patients that they want to preserve their relationship with Walgreens, and this is reflected by the incredible number of PSC members we have signed up this month," said Michael Polzin, Walgreens spokesman. "We know patients are feeling disrupted by the prospect of losing the access we provide, including 24-hour service and having the medication they need in stock, so we are pleased that so many of them have found a cost competitive solution in the form of our PSC card.”