Walgreens on Thursday took its failed negotiations with Express Scripts to Twitter, paying the social media site to promote the hashtag #ILoveWalgreens and setting off a barrage of tweets by tweeting "It's time to take a stand against @ExpressScripts. Tell them people want a choice by tweeting hashtag #ILoveWalgreens." According to Twitter, Walgreens tweeted 126 times on Thursday.
In the wake of a key Senate subcommittee hearing this month, and on the heels of the collapse of the blockbuster AT&T and T-Mobile merger, four more U.S. lawmakers have joined the growing ranks of consumer groups, members of Congress and employers questioning the proposed mega-merger of pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions.
As Walgreens girds itself for life outside of the Express Scripts pharmacy network, company executives, over the course of a Wednesday morning first-quarter conference call, continued to maintain that they, along with healthcare payers and employers, will be better off for it.
Walgreens on Wednesday again made its case for keeping its more than 8,000 points of care in the Express Scripts pharmacy network: Excluding Walgreens will not afford Express Scripts' customers any cost savings.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday challenged some of Express Scripts' and Medco's testimony during last week's hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, most notably that PBMs are subject to state regulation in all states and that as a PBM the two companies have no influence on the design of prescription drug benefits.
As of January 2012, Chinese Community Health Plan will transition to a new pharmacy benefits management company, Navitus Health Solutions, from Express Scripts to provide its members with continued access to Walgreens pharmacies, the health plan subsidiary of Chinese Hospital in San Francisco announced Friday.
CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of Randy Falkenrath as SVP specialty pharmacy, with responsibility for the ongoing development of clinical programs and product management to support the company's specialty pharmacy business.
The merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions "could bring an end to community-based pharmacies and the convenient services provided there," according to the Pennsylvania Pharmacy Council.
When its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor loses patent protection this month, Pfizer is hoping that pharmacy benefit managers will not dispense a generic version of the drug to its customers, according to published reports.
Walgreens took to the road the week before Thanksgiving to talk turkey with analysts on why Walgreens is a good bet going into 2012, even if the pharmacy won't be participating in the Express Scripts pharmacy network this coming year.
Walgreens is running the ball straight down the middle of the field in its bid to mitigate any lost Express Scripts prescriptions once the retailer is removed from that benefit manager's pharmacy network at the end of the year — and that seems increasingly likely with each passing day.
Walgreens on Friday joined with three pharmacy benefit managers — Altius Health Plans, Coventry Health Care and HealthAmerica — for an awareness campaign to educate employers on the benefits of a pharmacy network that includes Walgreens.
CVS Caremark on Thursday reported solid third-quarter results — 2 cents above the high end of its guidance range — driven in large part by better-than-expected performance in its pharmacy benefit management, which is in the midst of a profit-improvement plan.
At a press conference organized by the Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition at the Capitol on Thursday morning, the National Community Pharmacists Association's CEO Douglas Hoey issued a statement regarding the proposed merger of pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, saying the deal could mean "more wasteful mail-order spending and higher price spikes for specialty drugs."
The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday touted the benefits community pharmacies can provide for health insurance exchanges once those exchange open in 2014 in a letter addressed to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition will be traveling to the nation's capital on Thursday to urge Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to support patient care and oppose the planned merger between Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, the coalition announced Monday.
Catalyst Rx, the pharmacy benefits management subsidiary of Catalyst Health Solutions, on Friday took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal touting the value of a Walgreens pharmacy to a large healthcare payer. Catalyst also released a case study touting that value, according to a DrugChannels.net report.
The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition, which is a coalition of consumers, businesses and community-based pharmacists from across the country that have come together to oppose the planned mega-merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, has issued a call to action to protect Americans from rising costs and decreased access to health care by stopping the planned merger of the PBMs.
A number of members of Congress have raised questions about the proposed merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, prompting a lobbying group that represents independent pharmacies and opposes the merger to highlight the matter.
At press time, the industry was weighing the potential merger of pharmacy benefit manager rivals Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, but executives at CVS Caremark remain more confident than ever that its PBM business is ideally positioned to “effectively compete."