Walgreens to Drop from TRICARE?

Our friends at the Military Officers Association of America recently reported that Walgreens pharmacy announced that it had broken off negotiations to renew a contract with TRICARE Retail Pharmacy’s contractor, Express Scripts, Inc. Walgreens is the nation’s largest retail drugstore chain, and the largest TRICARE network pharmacy.

MOAA reported that for the near term, Walgreens will continue to fill prescriptions for TRICARE patients at least until January 1, 2012. At that point, if both sides are unable to come to an agreement TRICARE Pharmacy benefits will no longer be available at Walgreens.

Stay Tuned…

About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.
  • Eagleeyeear

    I appreciate being notified of this early. It allows the sponsor/beneficiaries to adjust accordlingly. I am sorry to hear that Walgreens contract may not work out but at least the word is getting out and time for those that it effects to react. Thanks for being transparent and keeping it real. Amen! Thats what I’m screaming.

    • Paladin

      Just another case of the current Administration telling a business, the largest pharmacy in the USA (7700+ locations), what they can make on a product or service.

      Walgreens would lose money the way the Government wants the contract.

      We as patients will lose availability.
      “Gangster Government” in action.

      • retiree

        Is the US Government telling Walgreens they can’t produce drugs? Or are you arguing the US Government should NOT negotiate costs – but should pay whatever the pharmacy wants to receive (say $1,000 a pill)?

        These negotiations are normal in both private and public sector – and we’ll see how it comes out. It may be that Walgreens chooses not to participate because they can’t make money. So we retirees will have to use other sources, to include Walmart, Active Duty Base Pharmacies, and mail order.

      • omar

        first of all, it should be free to MILITARY personnel… it is for people on welfare, and they don’t protect this country…

    • Is Tricare for Life included in this proposal?

      • Judy


    • Lucy

      This gives me enough time to transfer my perscription now to another pharmacy and not have any problems. It doesn’t seem like Walgreens cares about those of us to serve our country. I think we should all boycott Walgreens stores and take our business to someone who cares.

  • Ann Gee

    I am sorry to hear Walgreen may not be a Tricare Provider after January 1, 2012. I have been using Walgreen Pharmacy since they came to our community. Their employees are very polite and knew me by name when I went to the pharmacy. I do not have to wait hours in line to get my prescriptions. At the other Tricare Pharmacies in my area, I would have to wait in line for hours to get prescriptions. It should would be a shame if Walgreen stops being a Tricare Provider.

    • lylej

      Not sure you know it, but Walgreen pricing is 30% higher across the board than other providers…check the differences in prices between Walmart and Walgreen.

    • Earl

      Hear you, Walgreen is easily accessible, right down the street from my home, and I never have to wait. Employees are quite polite and sometime after leaving a doctor’s office this friendly reception enlighten my day. I pray that an acceptable agreement can be met between Walgreen/Tricare. So many deserving Veteran depend on the services of Walgreen.

  • mary hall

    Glad to also see the advanced notice. Thanks.

  • Roq

    I’m telling you, military retirees are getting kicked nowdays……I live overseas & Tricare is limited and so is Medicare. It’s a shame that we do not get the assistance that we were promised when we enlisted….R

  • Katie Burke

    I have the letter from Walgreens proving there dropping Express Scripts as a contractor, and walgreens side of this story. It was given to me in Savannah, GA walgreens store when I went to pick up a prescription for my kids, that the Army Med Hospital doesn’t carry, so they referred me off base to get it!!

  • Ann

    We too, were informed when picking up a Script yesterday. This was just the first shoe dropping! Next will come the higher cost in medicare and copays for retired 65+. We live in a city that has one of the largest concentrations of both military facilities and military retirees (San Antonio) so this will be greatly felt here. As was stated in the reply above, while the military facilities are a big help for some scripts, they seem not to carry a wide variety so we are left to deal with the pharmacies locally.
    But I do appreciate the heads up on this issue. Just got to start making plans again.

    • Gail

      We are retired Navy, and this is just the first shoe to drop because of the passage of 0’care. Doctors and hospitals are next. This administration are also going after mid ranks especially those with 18 yrs in to do them out of their pensions. When our Navy base went from a training base with 1 Admiral, it became the paper pusher base for the entire Navy with 14 Admirals, 13 to many. This administration is NOT going after the top heavy Top Brass, their pensions are already secured. And it is the SGT level that cause the Military to function well.

      We will be boycotting Walgreen’s.

  • Ann

    Just to add, I plan to start emailing everyone connected with Walgreens that I can find an email address on. I have found that customer input sometimes gets to the ears of the right person and you only need one advocate in the right place with the right voice (vote) !!!!!!

    • Daniel

      If you go into Walgreens and speak to RX manager. They will be able to help you get more information.

  • Kana

    So does this mean Walgreens can no longer bill against Tricsec (Tricare as seconday medical insurance)?

    • Carlos Harris

      After all the labels placed on medication. I would hoe that every pill that a client place into there mouth is good for the soul as well as the body.

      Light label

    • Judy

      Yes, no more Tricare For Life secondary to Medicare for pharmacy coverage at Walgreens. Option: Online with Military pharmacy or use Tricare and submit receipt for reimbursement

    • Gail

      YES, and as Tricare picks up your med tab, that tab will ALL be paid by you if your RX’s are filled at Walgreen’s.

  • JP South Dakota

    This really stinks!!! It is so nice using Walgreens as we can fill scipts in any city! Have a daughter that lives away for college, so works great for her! Also, when we travel I have had to fill one when away from home and it is never a problem!! I for one really hope they can come to an agreement!!

  • Jim // Michigan

    I sure hope they can work things out. I was really relieved when I started
    using Walgreens after reaching 65 and had no more hassles in getting and refilling my “nine” precscriptions I have to take …. guess it has just gotten too good to keep it that way. I’m a snowbird and it made it very convenient with Walgreens being in both locations.

  • lufrano,james

    Another promise broken, who do we trust now?

    • footie

      Your “promise” wasn’t broken, James. Just go to another pharmacy down the street or down the road. Use the mail order and you don’t even have to leave your Barcalounger.

  • VMV

    Looks like I will use my Mexican Rx pharmacy more often. Shame what is happening to our servicemembers, active and retired. No COLAs, no SSecurity increase, hope all of you remember this in Nov 2012!

    • Tim

      I sure will. That’s why I’ll vote against the Rupublithugs!

  • footie

    Okay, so you have to change pharmacies if Walgreens drops out of the network. Yes, a minor inconvenience. But you still have the exact same pharmacy benefit you had. You can still get your scripts at the other 40,000+ pharmacies remaining in the network. You can still go to just about any other major pharmacy, and many smaller ones and still be within the required mileage and time requirements required for network adequacy. Be thankful for your benefits and quit complaining. Do you know how many people out there wish they had a benefit at all? The TRICARE program is second to none. It is, by far, the best and cheapest healthcare program in existence.

    • william hall

      Aint that the truth!

    • Chief

      Well said. CVS, Rite Aid or the many other Rx shops will get my additional business besides just the pharmacy. I don’t see this as a win for Walgreens.

      • EBrown

        CVS , Rite Aid and Walmart could be right behind Walgreens when their contracts are up for negotiations. PBM/Express Scripts are worried more about their bottom line than serving their patients (you). Don’t blame Walgreens because negotiations have taken a stand still, both sides are to blame.

    • Gail

      They will as their contracts run out stop taking Tricare. This is the first of the hits 0’care will do. Docs and hospitals are next. Docs are already turning new Medicare patients away.

    • armyfamily

      requirements, requirements, when will it stop. I am thinking of joining, I have champ now. It is a retirement thing. But in my area there are no and I mean no docs and only pharmacies that take this insurance. No one is complaining, just stating the facts. When you look at the big picture, 40,000 provides in the WHOLE country is not that many. Just saying.

    • Doctor

      And yes we already paid into it, quit complaining that it is a good deal for the folks who served, obviously you have not

    • t.

      You are kidding yourselves. What you don’t know is that ESI is attempting to cut out any pharmacy that does not accept it’s “below cost” offer. They are already molesting independent pharmacy. What you will be left with is Walmart. Wow… what a choice…. but maybe you like not having to make a decision on where to go. The ultimate result will be Very few choices, inferior services, and unfortunately inferior products. Good luck with your “who cares” mentality.

    • Leah

      Our Walgreens is useless, the employees are rude, and act as if they are doing you a favor by taking your money. The best pharmacy I have found is a local, privately owned, family operated pharmacy, and they take Tricare all day long. I never have a hard time getting my rxs filled. If you are in the Kingsbay, GA are, try Camden Pharmacy, the Kicklighters will treat you right, everytime.

  • I am happy to see Walgreen’s standing up to bullying by DOD via Caremark because it shows the third party pharmacy administrators are trying to drive business to mail order. Retirees and active duty folks need to know it take $$ to run a business, particularly retail pharmacy, and low dispensing fees are inadequate to cover expenses. Driving retirees and AD folks to mail order is NOT the answer. Caremark has the largest mail order contract in US and DOD via TCare Phcy is one. Walgreens and Caremark (a CVS owned subsit) have had tangles before because of illicit/illegal business particies of CVS in steering business from other chains and indpendent pharmacies to CVS. Caremark & CVS have been taken to court on numerous occasions and have been fined because of this. Walgreens is trying to survive and do business as it should and DOD/Tricare/Caremark should not hinder the process. It is not the retirees & AD beneciaries’ fault that drug prices for brands are so high. FDA is a big contributor to cost increases because of many onerous and frivilous requirements for clinically insignificant requirements placed upon drug manufacturers.

    • Colleen T

      Just more evidence that the gov’t is getting too big for its britches and is getting in the way of everything and screwing things up for everybody else. I used to use Eckerd Drugs for our Tricare scripts before it was taken over by CVS. Hated CVS. There were always lines for the pharmacy, their prices were too high, and they weren’t open 24 hours like Walgreens. Since the change years ago, I’ve been very happy with Walgreens for our Tricare Rxs, but I’ve heard through our primary physicians that Tricare’s contracts are pretty unfair and cut below market payment levels. Guess that explains why most of our Dr.s don’t stick with Tricare very long. While I’m happy to see that Walgreens is standing up to the bullying by the DOD, I’m sorry to see them go. I do not I will NOT be switching to CVS or the DOD mail order pharmacy through Caremark.

  • Pete LaPierre

    Simple solution – have all military personnel active and retired boycott Walgreens for any and all purchases. Spread the word to your family and friends that Walgreens doesn’t honor their country’s veterans by not providing perscriptions via Tricare.

    • jlfats

      You need to read Walgreens letter to get both sides before you do that.

      • bill

        YOU need to quit buying the corp BS line both sides r @ fault one wont (can”t ) pay these outrages prices and one WON”T give a little to do right (the bottom LINE) got to make 10 times what I should
        BOYCOTT and watch how walgreens will change it’s stance

    • Russ

      Why pick on Walgreens? Did you know Express Scripts is part of CVS? Why do you think Express Scripts does not want to negotiate?

      • bill

        because like all, You don”t mean anything by yourself, as a group that takes a stand we can change things, no one is picking on walgreens, they are a part of this and won”t give to be there for us, please wake up both sides are @ fault

      • Steve

        Personally I think they are all crooks! It’s all about the almighty $$$$!

        And I could not find any where on the web that says Express Scripts is part of CVS……..

        I think Express Scripts is trying to nudge everybody out of the market so we will all subscribe to Express Scripts and receive our meds via the mail. I don’t know about any of you but I refuse to trust the postal system with my prescription meds.

        I believe there’s a lot more to this fight than they are telling on both sides!

    • Frank

      It NOT WalGreens who isn’t cooperating, it’s Express Scripts. And if you do your homework, Prez Obama wants all military to use the mail order pharmacy to save the gov’t money.

    • SUZ-E

      No point in boycotting Walgreens. They did not start this.

      • bill

        you make this sound like 5 year old, you started it,, no you did, who cares both sides are screwing us, BOYCOTT the greedy and see how they will then change their position, we know this current goverment has messed up everything and spend and spends what little there is, nothing left to pay the huge companies their over priced charges. BOYCOTT

      • pkjelpaso

        Apparently Walgreens DID start this. They are unwilling to take what other providers take for filling prescriptions. And they are the ones that walked out on the negotiations. I’ve read both sides of the dispute, and no other pharmacies are refusing to take Tricare.

    • gene canady

      Sounds like a good idea….I will start tomorrow…Have everyone else do the same if possible

    • EBrown

      That is a horribly slanderous comment; Walgreens cares for its active military and veterans

    • just a guy

      Walgreens are not droping because of that. Please read any and all info

  • Another example of how the GOP market based medical care doesn’t work unless you roll over and play dead. When you try and negotiate like TRICARE and they just walk away. Ever try shopping for medical care? Most of the clinics don’t have a price list and try shopping for Medicare add ons.

    • Gail

      ryancare is no better than 0’care for seniors. It is the same for the first 10 years, then starts subsidies for the younger generations. Did you realize there is a $8 TRILLION gut to Medicare per the WSJ to Medicare over the next 20 years in 0’care along with the hidden taxes, which means seniors will have no health care.

    • Colleen T

      Market based medical care does work, when the parties play fair. Tricare/Caremark/Express Scripts is not doing that. While I’m all for cheap healthcare, and have been with Tricare for years, I’m well aware that their contracts pay BELOW market, which is why our medical providers don’t stay with it for very long. You’d find more continuity if Tricare/Caremark/Express Scripts would play fair and pay their providers fair, but competitive, market value for their services. It takes money to run a business. And if your expenses are more than your income, you don’t stay in business. Companies like Walgreens can’t print money from thin air like the gov’t, so if a contract being offered to them won’t cover the expenses they’d incur, they will walk away. ObamaCare will just make everything worse by forcing medical providers to provide services at virtually no cost to many more people – it is unsustainable.

  • james kitty

    I just changed to cvs as i have been with walgreens many years they filled a partial prescription for my wife and then proceeded to try and charge us for the rest they owed us…had to get tricare supervisor to gt this took care of …so this news comes at no great love loss

    • pkjelpaso

      That isn’t a surprise that they tried double billing on meds that weren’t given out. Walgreens was fined around $500,000 in 1999 in Texas for double billing medicaid for basically the same thing. They would charge medicaid for the full amount whether it was given out or not. They have a history of doing that.

  • Ben/Alabama

    The first I heard of this was when I picked up a my prescription at my local Walgreens. They had a counter display at the pickup window of a petition you could sign to request that Walgreens not be dropped as a TRICARE provider by Express Scripts.

  • jlfats

    Sounds to me like Walgreens was willing to give but Express Scripts was not…
    I got the letter from Walgreens also and am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO dissapointed. They have been the easiest people in the country to deal with, get hurt in one state and can travel to another to get meds with no hassle. Just another BAD change.

    • bill

      another one buying the corp line (BS) both sides will point @ they other, please wake up and quit excepting the excuses from both BOYCOTT and see how the tune will change

      • just a guy

        Need life…??

  • AnnaMarieRN

    I switched to Walgreens after rite-aid kept messing up my scripts. The walgreens in my area is open 24 hours and that makes it nice since I work night shift. I hate to see this happen.

  • MJAM

    What Walgreens stated in their Military Member Letter B was “Unfortunately, we cannot continue to deliver these services under the terms and rates Express Scripts has offered. We have been negotiating for several months with Express Scripts, but we were surprised by their ultimate stance during our talks, which made it clear to us they they (Express Scripts) no longer had an interest in continuing a meaningful relationship and that potential inconvenience to our customers was not a primary consideration of theirs”. So what gives? Is Express Scripts deliberately trying to shut out Walgreens from serving military customers? Something definitely is not right here.

    • SUZ-E


    • SUZ-E

      I wrote a much longer reply, but received a message that it had to be approved. Just wanted to tell you I agree that something is definately not right here. Do you think it might be that the co-pays for retail prescriptions are going up to encourge retired military to use Express Scripts?

    • SUZ-E

      I found an article about “steering” (what it said) patients to purchase from Express Scripts, rather than a local pharmacy. Is that acceptable behavior by part of our government?

    • SUZ-E

      I forgot to add the source of the article I mentioned in my last comment. It is http://www.chaindrugreview.com/front-page/newsbre

    • BILL

      Having trouble understanding how you fall for all that corp BS, of course they will blame it on the other both sides will, Bottom line this country is hurting, funds are short to pay the overpriced charges by these greedy companies (no better than this goverment) WALGREENS is most certinaly able to obsorb some for the military but nono need my green

  • Nita

    Does the 3 month prescriptions for one co-pay with Express Scripts play into this. You can only get that through the mail, not from Walgreen’s. We have used Walgreen’s with great satisfaction for many years, until Tricare sent the Express Scripts info. My husband and I take about 15 prescriptions a month between us. Since we switched to Express Scripts we do very little business with Walgreen’s. If you multiply that by all the other retired military, it puts a lot of hurt on Walgreen’s. You would think they would like to make a deal.

    • SUZ-E

      From what I have read here, it appears Walgreens has little choice.

  • Harold Fosman

    Never mind Walgreens what about tri-care not willing to meet the
    Terms of a contract. Walgreens might be the first to quit will CVS
    be next and others follow suit. What is the problem Tri-Care?
    I take Ambien to sleep and I get 30 pills a month on the 31st
    day of some months I am awake because Tri-Care don’t care.

  • springchickenot

    Last time I got a prescription that would have cost $134 brand, $125 generic for anyone else, it cost me $9 with TriCare. I asked the pharmacist if the $9 included a profit for the drug maker and pharmacy and he said yes. Then I asked him where the difference between the $9 and the $125 would go and he said it would go to the drug store (I won’t mention names). Why do you think there is a drug store on every corner and in many large stores?

    I am going by what I was told. If I’m wrong, someone please correct me.

    • Walgreens spy

      not true, the store will still have to pay Cost for said drugs. So a small bottle of 30ct pill may cost from $50-180. Drugstore do pocket money but at around 10% at the highest. That would pan out to be $5 out of the $50 bottle. Which cant take up to a week to go threw. Add in paying for the Techs. and the pharmacist themselves. They have to sell a lot of medications to break even.

      Hint:Most Walgreens in the Ga region actually lose money as it stands. Usually 3 out of 30 stores make money. Walgreens makes money from the Northern region and FL area.

  • Slay

    CVS, here’s your chance to step up to plate and smack a home run!

    • Roy

      I am with you one this one! Go CVS!

    • Robert Moore

      CVS is involved in this already as express scripts and it are part of the same family of companies, conflict of interest anyone?

      • Mark

        Not express scripts, CAREMARK.

  • Gary

    Just another in a long series of screwing over the military who gives and gives and keeps protecting our freedom only to get shoved undwer the rug every chance our greedy president and congress wants to cut something. I am so tired of them taking everything away from the retirees after being promised to be taken care of…..a stroke of the pen from those who made this promise and BAM…..it is taken away! They just do not care except for themselves……

  • Vern

    I appreciate the advance warning – now there’s another damned nuisance just being part of the system. Walgreens should be boycotted by all vets for their selfish short-sighted decision by their half-assed execs for stopping services for vets. It’s bad enough lying polititions continue to trade and chip away benefits promised to vets. Guess loyalty to america evades our leaders as long as there’s a buck to go elsewhere. Thanks a lot.

    • SUZ-E

      Does not look like Walgreens has a choice.

  • SGM Pompili

    The largest company in the U.S who underpays women and manipulates hours and pay so that the governmant has to take up the slack and some posters sympathize with their money grabbing reasons for backing out of TRICARE ?
    The insurance companies, the government are profiting by the blood shed by our military and continually find reasons to renege on promises, and obligations and we still remain loyal as dogs…thank all of you for your service from one of the many who still care, my comrades in arms…..

    • SUZ-E

      I think you miss the point. Doesn’t look like Walgreens is backing out….Looks like it is being shut out.

  • mikel

    This is just the beginning. Stand by for a worse times ahead. Government health care. Walgreens is a business and they have to make ends meet. The problem is not walgreen’s, it is the governments. Not good. The military is lumped in with the entire government health care plan because the military treatment facilities are the only medical faclitities that the government owns.

    • bill

      only part correct, walgreens wouldn’t even be there if not for you, they need to give back, this bottom line is only hogwash, these companies are rolling a little to the finest they could do if they chose

  • bill

    BOYCOT this store and any other that does not support the military like TARGET, corp owned STARBUCKS etc. this is the only thing they understand

  • SGM Pompili

    LOL!!! Walgreen’s has absolutely no problem making ends meet..the stores multiply like rabbits…the military is lumped in with the government health care plan because they are military DOH!!!!….don’t like the military health care ?..Then don’t use it..get out of the military, purchase your own health insurance at 600 to 1000 dollars a month…..then complain as the civilians do that you don’t pay enough and also nee your pay reduced…..think !!!!

  • LTC Pinkson

    This will be a grand mistake. We I’ll lose an exceptional multiplier of pharmaceutical services. We have received valued services from Walgreens during difficult times. During two bouts with cancer, our Walgreens provider was an active participant in our treatment and recovery team. They conducted all the logistical coordination with our medical specialists to ensure that our needed medication were timely delivered. Their national program was most beneficial for Rx refills when we were away from home. We are indebted to the caring professionalism displayed by our supporting Walgreens Pharmacy. I am hopeful that the contractual issues will be resolved and that the Tricare beneficiaries will continue to have the Walgreens as an option for their pharmaceutical needs. It is an exceptional national pharmaceutical chain, available to all.

  • If Walgreen’s don’t want our business anymore, then CVS just might want to start if they don’t already do it. Also to all out there, don’t forget that Express Scripts has the Mail Order Pharmacy option which I will be calling on ASAP. Wife and daughter both require several med scripts each. We used to use the Tricare Pharmacy here in Virginia Beach and then we were forced to go to Walgreen’s because Tricare does not carry alot of medications that are required. So, I hope that the Mail Order option is a success and not a failure.
    But, likewise, I also appreciate the heads up in time to take of things.

  • SUZ-E

    Would this be considered “restraint of trade?” Just asking………..

    • tx_bluebonet

      nope not a restraint of trade because all pharamacy voluntarily join “networks”. You are still able to purchase from Walgreens after Jan 2012…thats not restricted, you’d just pay full price. This is why its not a restraint in trade

  • I find those of you that advocate boycotting anyone that doesn’t support the military interesting. We are really just a very small percentage of the population, and attempting something like that is akin to polluting the Gulf of Mexico with the tiny spill that occurred there recently. Sure, we can try to inform our friends and family, but they usually have limited choices as well.

    I’m fortunate live relatively close (65 miles) to a MTF, which makes it easy to get 3 month supplies, but occasionally I would use Walgreen’s to fill a one-time prescription from my doctor.

    As for whoever it was that blamed this on GOP economics, I can only say, WOW, get your head out of the sand and look around at why Walgreen’s is forced to do things like this. I suppose you would be happy for a capitalist company like them to just go out of business, right?

  • suzzy

    Well if Walgreens doesnt wanna come to an agreement with Tricare then screw them. Maybe miltiary ppl should boycott using their pharmacies for anything. Ill be the reason why they can’t come to an agreement is because walgreens wants more perks in some way. they are all about profit not the little people. if they dont need our military perscriptions then they dont need any of our military purchases. they are overprices anyways. and the pharmacy takes forever to fill a perscription here where I live at. the navy hospital is faster. lol

  • http://www.walgreens.com/marketing/contactus/form

    Go to this link and let them know just how you feel. I did!

    To whom it may concern,
    I am sure that I am not the lone Ranger here when I say that if what I am hearing is true Walgreens stands to lose more than just a few customers.
    As a retired military member I was very dismayed to read this article about Walgreens and Tricare.
    I recently moved all my prescriptions over to Walgreens from Wal-Mart pharmacy because the service was better and I liked the innovations, like being notified by text when a script was ready and the scanning app for my phone. Now I hear this (read Article below) and I am preparing to move my prescriptions again (come January). If Walgreens dumps Tricare, not only will I move my business to CVS but I will no longer shop at Walgreens for anything.
    I am hoping that this gets directed to the appropriate people as the Pharmacy address does not seem to be working (bounces back)

    This is very Disconcerting for many Military families! Active and Retired alike. This is going out to Veterans like me on many sites please encourage those in positions of authority that you stand to lose more than just the prescription business. Military/Veterans tend to boycott business that boycott them.
    I have no desire to move to another Pharmacy however I will have no choice come January if Walgreens no longer accepts Tricare.

    • Daniel

      Please got to the store and speak to the RX. They can send a form on your behalf to any company/employer/etc. to plea to keep Walgreens in the family. We can also give you a simple form to fill out and mail. We even pay for the stamp to mail it. Walgreen is in fact trying to keep you as a customer. Please help us help you.

  • Ben/Alabama

    The first I heard of this was when I picked up a my prescription at my local Walgreens. They had a counter display at the pickup window of a petition you could sign to request that Walgreens not be dropped as a TRICARE provider by Express Scripts.

  • Guest

    I have always tried to pick up my prescriptions at the base, but recently, they have been “shorting” me, on my pills. I will get 27 in one bottle, 28 in another. Once, I got a BUG in the bottle. If you get a seven month prescription (One and six refills) they make you come back month after month, because they cannot figure out how to divide it evenly. Their reassurances of change have not worked out well. You must wait a certain number of days before the next refill is due, and when you are getting an incorrect number of pills, it makes it difficult to know when to go back. I have never experienced a prescription error at Walgreens. I hate to see us lose the pharmacy that so many Floridians use.

  • Guest

    I tend to side with Walgreens here. Express scripts is out to make money and cut their cost anyway they can. I can not remember the time they have declined a prescription that my doctor wrote for me. I guess they know more than the doctor does. “F” them.

  • Waverly Haney

    I don’t have prescriptions filled at Walgreens, but I do shop their for other products. If this plan goes through, I will have to think very hard about supporting Walgreens. My husband is a disabled Vet. Shame on all involved.

  • Rphguy2

    After reading all these messages I am hoping I can give some insight into the situation between Express Scripts and Walgreens. Express scripts is a prescription benefit manager (PBM) that is a go between for a payor (which in tricare is DOD) and a pharmacy such as Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid etc. In a nutshell the DOD gives express scripts the authority to decide what medications will be covered at what copays and at which pharmacies. They make their money by charging a claim transaction fee for every prescription that is filled under Tricare. They also own their own mail-order system which is where they make the bulk of their profits (1.2 billion net profit in 2009) because in that situation they keep the money they would have paid a retail pharmacy. A pharmacy such as Walgreens makes its money in 2 ways. The first is a set dispensing fee of $1.50 per prescription and the second is the cost difference between what they buy a bottle of medicine for and what express scripts will pay them for that bottle of medicine. For example Walgreens may pay $200 for a bottle of medicine and express scripts will reimburse them $215 dollars giving walgreens a profit of $15 plus their dispensing fees. At issue is what express scripts is willing to reimburse walgreens for the medication they purchase from the drug companies. In the PBM industry insurance providers use a Maximum Allowable Cost (MAC pricing) to determine what they will pay a pharmacy for the medication. Over the past decade that reimbursement has been declining mostly because their is no regulation of what MAC pricing is, right now it is just an arbitrary number created by the PBM not the actual cost of what was paid by the pharmacy. According to Walgreens executives the amount express scripts is willing to reimburse would create a loss of revenue for the company to such an extent it would be better not to work with them at all.

    • loving life!!

      Interesting. Thanks for the insight. Where did you get this info? The internet is great because we have access to so much info, but then, it’s difficult to sort through so much info!!
      ~spouse of an active duty Marine

      • tx_bluebonet

        this is common knowledge to anyone working for PBM’s I worked for CVS for 6 yrs…everyone on the “inside” knows this. This basically boils down to a power struggle between CVS Caremark and Walgreens…My understanding is that CVS Caremark won the new contract for 2010…typically Walgreens recants by the end of Jan.

    • pkjelpaso

      I thank you also for the information. I still wonder how it is that the other pharmacies are not refusing to deal with Tricare, but Walgreens somehow can’t make a reasonable profit? That is the fallacy in some posters’ logic that Walgreens has been a “victim” of Tricare/ExpressScripts. Walgreens is the one that walked out of the negotiations. They weren’t thrown out of the program.
      None of the other pharmacies are refusing to take Tricare – as for myself, we will just go elsewhere for prescriptions from now on. Fortunately, Walgreens isn’t the only pharmacy around where we live.

      • Guest

        None of the other pharmacies are refusing to take Tricare – as for myself, we will just go elsewhere for prescriptions from now on. Fortunately, Walgreens isn’t the only pharmacy around where we live.

        Not yet at least, Walgreens contract may be the first one that is up for renewal, and Express Scripts is “testing the waters” with Walgreeens. Meaning that if Wag takes the new contract with much lower reimbursemnt rates, then most likely the other big pharamacy players will too. The other pharmacies contracts may not be up for several years from now (as contracts are multi-year). So when you say that “Walgreens can’t make a reasonable profit” the answer is yes (at the new contract rate, not the CURRENT rate that is in effect now and at all other drug stores)

    • tx_bluebonet

      GREAT Explination, you must have worked with a PBM…:)

  • Fred

    I pray that this is not just the first step in eroding the benefits that were a part of the Compact made between me and the Armed Forces a long time ago. As one of four generations of Veterans, with one more in line to serve this great country, this is the wrong thing to do and a bad step to take. Express Scripts is not just a Walgreen client but impacts well beyond. Please come to your senses Walgreen and get back on track!

  • Hope

    I just received my letter from Walgreen’s today. I have always had good Customer Care. The Military wants you to use Express Script. Well, I have for many years until they consolidated and then things went down hill. They took my money and no emails that the RX was to be filled. That is why I switched. Express Script filled one of my Prescription that they sent over night in dry ice. When I could of got it at Walgreen and Saved MONEY. So why do I want to use them????? TRICARE is wasting money sending letters to tell us the Prescription we received for the month we know what we get. They refused to stop sending it to me. Wasting money once again. I am being tired of being told what do. Why don’t I have Choices.??? Yes, are Medical is Great but we have rights. We must start getting the word out to TRICARE that we are not satisfied with their decision. Don’t be accepting of this speak up. If my hand is forced I will go to base and get my medication and keep up my driving skill. Thank you TRICARE.

  • Pattib

    Your benefits are not stripped. Take off your Tin Foil hat and step away from the computer. Jeez. Just use another pharmacy. You have thousands to choose from.Or go to a Military base and use the pharmacy there.
    Do you know how much a standard co-pay is for non-government employees? They cover on average about 25% of the total cost of scripts. I don’t think you realize how good we have it. It has nothing to do with the President or military service….quit trying to turn this into a political argument.

  • ehutch

    I will probably start to use my Medicare benefits for some medications, and then go to Express Scripts for the others. I don’t think this will end up costing me money, but I’ll have to see. I agree the convenience of having a pharmacy just around the corner is great, but with this administration, I am not surprised. POTUS does not care about the military unless it makes him look good, like his supposed involvement in BL’s death.

  • Retired Master Sgt

    I hope they can fix this…We live in a small town with a Walgreen’s store within walking distance. If they can’t fix this, I will have to drive at least 7mi to another drug store (if they qualify).
    They have always been able to handle my needs. The cost of medicine is getting out of hand. I use Medicare & TriCare & most of the time it covers my requirements.
    I have been thru several wars, with 34 yrs of military service & I am too old to deal with this FIX IT . .! ! !

  • Retired but working

    Just saw a Forbes article that the problem is that Walgreens is not going to be part of the Express Scripts network any longer. This doesn’t just apply to Tricare. Many other companies use Express Scripts to manage their phamaceutical plans. I have Express Scripts from my company as well as Tricare so the impact will be pretty hard on Walgreens.

  • Josephine

    I surely hope that Walgreens and Tricare will be able to sort out the differences and continue filling prescriptions for Tricare patients.

    The service from Walgreen’s pharmacy is by far the best of any other I have tried, right down the street, and available for 24 hour service.

  • Doctor

    I need my medicine!!!!!!! I’m 50 miles away from any other provider and depend upon walgreens, make a deal DoD!

  • McMan

    Get out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • GunnyL

    Found out from a friend that Blue Cross Blue Shield is dropping Walgreens from it’s system as well. Same effective date as Tricare.

  • JAn

    Just an FYI for those of you upset with Walgreens. ESI wanted them to take reimbursement cuts. Walgreens was not asking for an increase in dispensing fees. Furthermore, Walgreens agreed to take a cut in fees for Tricare members so they could continue to support our military. ESI said NO, you cut fees for all plans or they would walk away from the table. Walgreens said they couldn’t do it financially, so ESI walked. Your beef is with Express Scripts, not Walgreens.

    • rick

      i agree with you 100 percent!!!

    • CV Reed

      That’s interesting, because TRICARE says just the opposite…who do you believe and where can we find out for sure who is doing what? Until I can find out for sure just who the “bad guy” is I can’t say what I think…except it’s pretty typical for these days.

  • Bob

    I agree with Jan. Think about it for a minute. Who decides where we fill our prescriptions? ESI. Who decides what medicine is the right choice for us? Not our doctors anymore. Its the insurance. I have had to change medicines several times now because the one my doctor prescribed isn’t on the formulary. I guess ESI knows more about my health than my doctor, even though they have never met me. It is time that we questioned the power that insurance companies hold. I don’t like some faceless company telling me what to take and where to go. What happened to freedom of choice? I’d like to telll them where to go!

  • tx_bluebonet

    CVS offers a program called Maintance Choice (MChoice) this allows you to get a 90 day supply at CVS for the mail order copay (have not heard if this will be offered in 2012 to TRICARE). Every YEAR for the past 4 years Walgreens has gotten their feathers ruffled, pouted, and pulled out of networks…historically they lose major business, decide it was a stupid thing and recant by the end of Jan…and re-enter as a provider. I am a former CVS Caremark employee and have seen this happen EVERY year since MChoice was introduced. If MChoice were not legal CVS could not continue to offer this. I don’t see MChoice going away…and if its offered to TRICARE you may find that you like the program…I know my parents do. They are both on insulin and don’t have to worry about it shipping in the extreme TX heat. Like most things in life there are pros and cons to everything…just ride it out. Walgreens historically changes their minds.

  • tx_bluebonet

    You still have pharamacy and mail order benefits…its not a benefit being stripped. Walgreens is legally able to choose who they do buisness with. This is a feud between CVS Caremark and Walgreens that ALL consumers (NOT JUST MILITATRY) get caught in the middle of…..I’ve watched this happen every year for about 3 years…typically Walgreens recants.

  • Mark

    The same thing happend back in 2008 and it is NOT I repeat NOT Walgreens fault for any of this, it has to do with the compute Express Scripts who is holding out for more money and they are the go between, between Walgreens and Tricare. Greed plays a huge role in this whole situation and we the consumer especially the retired and Active duty military population are but a blip on thier radar screen. They don’t care about us as long as they can get their money.

    • rick

      I agree with you 100 percent!

  • annette

    I asked why tricare is dropping Walgreens and got a response that they had come to an agreement what is the deal

  • Andrea

    I’m just grateful i have insurance. SO i won’t complain.. But i did like Walgreen because they are on every corner and the staff is polite and service is always top notch. But Kroger’s and Walmart are ok as well. They are not as fast and nice but they get the job done. I didn’t know about CVS though. Thanks for that information. I do say thanks to all the service men and women that keep us safe. Bless you all.

  • Teresa

    I feel Walgreens is a good choice for my family. I know I am important to the staff at walgreens. They know my name and care about me and the medications I take. Where with Express Script I am a number. When there were issues with what Express Script would allow Walgreens called them on the issue and has called our doctor and gotten his help with the issue. We need to stand up and fight for our rights to be seen as a Person not a number for a company!

  • rockyrose

    Beware! Walmart is now charging Tricare veterans $5 for their $4 prescriptions simply because Tricare’s copay has increased.

  • robyn aagesen

    express scripts is a private pharmacy management company with the same parent company as CVS. they have NO DESIRE to strike any deal with Walgreens on behalf of DOD/TriCare. this is not a situation to be blamed on Walgreen’s desire to negotiate in good faith. it has everything to do with Express Scripts (and their parent) creating a monopolized situation with taxpayer coffers. shame on express scripts/cvs for their greed …

  • sahm

    My biggest concern with losing Walgreens is getting after-hours prescriptions filled. Most parents can vouch that their kids rarely get sick during regular business hours. With Walgreens 24-hour service I never have to worry about getting my daughter’s late night prescriptions filled. There are NO other 24-hour pharmacies within 60 miles of where we live and most of the pharmacies around here are closed on Sundays. No big deal, just wait til Monday morning, you say? Guess you’ve never had a screaming baby with an ear infection or severe vomiting in the middle of the night. Express Scripts is trying to put more money in it’s own pocket but in the end not renewing with Walgreens is going to cost Tricare (and ultimately us) an arm and a leg because people are going to be making ER visits to get the care and medication they need after hours. That is going to cost much, much more in the long run.

  • marshall

    I really could care less about whos at fault here, what I do care about is the fact that i,am a 25 year vet that has to accept second best to be able to get my presciptions. I,m handicapped and need a drive through, the availability of this convience in my area is limited, and the service is no where as good as walgreens. don,t get me wrong, i,am greatful as can be for this coverage., …… BUT….. who is the loser here and does anyone really care?