My mother has been a Walgreens customer for more than a decade. Like many people her age, she has a lot of prescription drugs on which her life is dependent. I consider us extremely lucky to be right down the street from our Local Walgreens, where she or I visit at least twice a week to pick up prescriptions.
For us, Walgreens is mainly the best option because it is open 24 hours a day. In addition, her records with Walgreens are available at any Walgreens location nationwide, so should we go on a trip and she either becomes ill or needs to go to the hospital, the nearest Walgreens will have her prescription information for either helping her figure out if she can take any over-the-counter medications, or I can pick up the information and hand it to the nearest hospital.
I am very glad that Walgreens has given us peace of mind.
I’m so glad that my mother is not part of the Express Scripts pharmacy provider network, because after negotiating over the past year, Walgreens and Express Scripts have parted ways. This means Express Scripts customers who have purchased from Walgreens nationwide will have to find a new pharmacy in their network – possibly having to drive long distances and experience the hassles of transferring all of their prescriptions to a new pharmacy.
If you are a member of Express Scripts, perhaps you have been affected by this change and have to drive longer distances to find a pharmacy network. If you are in a military family and use Tricare, one of Express Scripts’ clients, this may affect you here at home and any loved ones stationed overseas.
In response, Walgreens is asking customers to use the Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens, Norally, the Prescription Savings Club is available for $20/year per individual and $35/year per family, but through January 31, Walgreens is offering annual club memberships at $5/year per individual and $10/year for the whole family.
The Prescription Savings Club web site includes a search function, in which you can search for your prescription, enter your dosage and see the prices Walgreens is offering. Discounts for 8,000 prescriptions are available, and although the prices may not be lower than the ones you are paying with your current pharmacy or prescription plan, you can check the site for yourself and see.
I searched for my own prescriptions and did not find any significant discounts from what I am paying without insurance and with a free prescription savings card. This may be different for you, but I have learned over the years that the best thing you can do to save money on your prescriptions is to do as much research as possible to find the lowest prices.
I just asked my mother what she would do if her pharmacy network stopped including Walgreens. I have to clean up what she said for this post:
“I’d be [expletive for ‘extremely mad.’] I’d [call my provider and vocally express my opposition, most likely in a raised voice.]”
Will this affect you? How would you feel if your pharmacy provider removed your pharmacy from its network?