Express Scripts and Walgreens Announce New Pharmacy Network Agreement.
Did Walgreen cave? Few people know the truth since (also as expected): "The companies are not disclosing the terms of the new contract."
I suspect that Walgreen bowed to the economic realities outlined in Walgreens is Losing Its Battle with Express Scripts and shareholder disappointment with the questionable Alliance Boots deal. Nonetheless, expect Walgreen's shareholders to breathe a sigh of relief.
Note that "Walgreens will participate in the broadest Express Scripts retail pharmacy network available to new and existing clients." Translation: Express Scripts will still be marketing Express Advantage Network, its tiered network option.
I posted the full text of today's happy talk press release after the jump. Stay tuned for more pharmacy network disruption.
Here's the full text of the press release.
Express Scripts and Walgreens Announce New Pharmacy Network Agreement
ST. LOUIS & DEERFIELD, Ill., July 19, 2012 - Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX) and Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (NASDAQ: WAG) today announced the companies have reached a multi-year pharmacy network agreement that includes rates and terms under which Walgreens will participate in the broadest Express Scripts retail pharmacy network available to new and existing clients. The companies are not disclosing the terms of the new contract.
Walgreens will be part of the broadest network of pharmacies available to Express Scripts clients, as of September 15, 2012. Express Scripts will work to ensure a smooth transition for those plan sponsors who will want to include Walgreens pharmacies in their network.
"As I've said, we are in the business of providing a broad range of pharmacy, health and wellness services to help meet the needs of all of our customers,” said Greg Wasson, president and CEO of Walgreens. “I am pleased that Walgreens and Express Scripts have been able to reach an agreement that works for both parties and is consistent with our company’s principles. This agreement is good for our shareholders, our employees and the patients and communities we serve every day. We look forward to once again filling prescriptions and offering our health and wellness services as part of the Express Scripts network."
“We are happy to include Walgreens in our broadest network of pharmacies and we are pleased to reach an agreement to do so,” said George Paz, chairman and CEO of Express Scripts. “Our business model is based on strong alignment with our plan sponsors -- employers, health plans, unions and government health programs -- providing them with a clinically sound and economically responsible pharmacy benefit.”
The broadest Express Scripts network now offers more than 64,000 pharmacies nationwide, including Walgreens, providing a broad array of quality pharmacy care options.