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Friday, January 13, 2012

Walgreens, our Friendly Neighborhood Pharmacy

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It was 9:00 PM when my five-year old son rushed into my room complaining of nausea and vomiting. I took his temperature and he was running a high fever. I dressed him up and drove to the hospital five miles away from our home. We sat in the waiting area for half an hour and after all the paper work was was complete a nurse escorted us to a bed inside the emergency room. The doctor read the nurse's reports, asked a couple of questions about how he was feeling, ran some tests, ordered some medications, and dextrose.  Within a couple hours the medications and the dextrose were administered and quickly thereafter my son started to feel much better, the vomiting stopped, and the fever went down. The doctor handed me a prescription order and we were released.  It was 2 a.m. and I needed to pick up his medications to start taking as soon as we got home.  We stopped by Walgreens our local community pharmacy on our way home. Walgreens pharmacy offers more 24-hour and drive-thru pharmacies than any other pharmacy in the country. In times like this having a community pharmacy that is open 24-hours is a valuable resource in our neighborhood.

 We have been regular neighborhood Walgreens pharmacy customers for many years and our family treats Heather and Camilla our pharmacists as good friends.  Whenever I forget to have my medications refilled on time, one phone call to Heather or Camilla and my prescription is ready in just a few hours. It is important to have this kind of relationship with your pharmacists and it benefits both the customer and the business.

 Heather told me that  Walgreens and Express Scripts  contract expired on Dec. 31, 2011.  Walgreens long contract negotiation to continue as an Express Scripts' pharmacy provider network has ended with an unsuccessful outcome . Our family has been adversely affected by this change.  I work for a private company and my health insurance prescription plan is managed by Express Scripts. My husband who is a US Air Force veteran has Tricare which is the health and prescription drug program for the military.  Tricare is also a client of Express Scripts.  Heather explained that this means our family can no longer receive our prescription medication refills from Walgreens.  Needless to say not only have we lost the ability to do business with people we have trusted for many years but now we must drive all the way downtown to fill our prescriptions from another pharmacy.  Express Scripts wants their customers to use their own mail order pharmacy taking away the "neighborhood friendly feeling" of walking in the store and talking to a "real person". 

 During the negotiation period, Walgreens pharmacy offered to hold rates for a new contract and did not seek an increase in rates.  Walgreens offers competitive pricing and more savings by dispensing less expensive generic drugs and offering huge savings with their 90-day supplies of medications.  For the military, Walgreens offered to match or beat the average costs per adjusted prescription of all other pharmacies in the Tricare network, but Express Scripts refused to negotiate a separate contract for the benefit of the military personnel and their beneficiaries. Attempts on Walgreens to win the negotiation with Express Scripts were not fruitful. It all went down to Express Scripts  "business-profit concept" as evidenced by their profits growth of a rate twice as much as others in the health care industry.  

 The transition has been difficult, but Walgreens has stood firm and took steps to satisfy their customers. They offer special discounts on annual memberships for its Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens , savings on brand name medications and generic medications, and a low affordable annual membership for individuals and families.  Walgreens now offers to keep its rates flat for the next three years.

 Walgreens is doing their best to keep the cost of health care affordable and at the lowest prices to benefit their customers. We, the customers are the reason why Walgreens is doing their best to serve us in the best possible manner. There is one thing we can do to help... spread the word by liking Walgreens on Facebook  and follow Walgreens on Twitter

 

Submitted by Chay for TSS

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2 comments:

  1. Truly is a nice thing to have a pharmacy in the neighborhood, cause you just never know when you will need medications and other medical supplies. I love our Walgreens here in town. They have all kinds of stuff one would possibly need !

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for the information Chay, yes, it is really great to have a pharmacy close by, two years ago, I needed prescription medication in the wee hours of morning after leaving the emergency room of a nearby hospital.

    ReplyDelete

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