Express Scripts at Walgreens

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2012

By Debbie Glover

Pontchartrain Newspapers

Consumers and patients who had to change pharmacies from Walgreen’s because it no longer had an agreement with Express Scripts will be able to return to Walgreen’s if they choose on Sept. 15.

Many long-time customers were forced to find other pharmacies when Walgreen’s and Express Scripts reached a stalemate last year.

Although Walgreen’s did not release how much the non-contract affected their business, Blue Cross/Blue Shield spokesperson Robin Mayhall said, “It was not a huge amount of business, but enough for them to want to continue negotiations.”

In fact, Mayhall said not all BCBS customers in Louisiana were affected — it depended upon the group plan.

“Not all have Express Scripts,” she said. “The agreement actually will affect all Express Scripts customers, including competitors of Blue Cross,” she said. “They are quite a big company.”

She said Blue Cross is “really pleased to be able to welcome Walgreen’s back into the network. It offers our customers affordability and access and ultimately more choices in their network, which is what we strive for.”

Express Scripts and Walgreen’s announced a multi-year agreement on Friday, which means Walgreen’s will once again be a part of the Express Scripts network. Blue Cross and HMO Louisiana members with Express Scripts pharmacy benefits will be able to count Walgreen’s as a network provider for their prescription needs, according to Blue Cross.

Blue Cross explained that Express Scripts is an independent pharmacy benefit manager that administers pharmacy benefits for many Blue Cross customers. Express Scripts’ job is to negotiate nationwide contracts with pharmacies like Walgreen’s on behalf of health plans and employer groups.

To see pharmacies that are currently in the network, members can log in to their account at and click “Manage Medication,” then “Find a Pharmacy.” By Sept. 15, Walgreens pharmacies will be visible on the Express Scripts pharmacy locator. To confirm their benefits are administered by Express Scripts, members should check their ID cards for the Express Scripts logo.

The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.