Consumers get stuck again, fewer choices, higher prices.  This all started back in June of 2011 when Walgreens dumped Express Scripts who is trying finish buying imageMedco to have around 1/3 of the prescription business in the US.  The deal looks now that if you are an Express Scripts patient, you won’t be going to Walgreens any more unless your pay cash.  The price Express Scripts is paying for Medco is around $29 billion. 

Walgreen Dumps Express Scripts Pharmacy Benefit Manager–Contract Dispute With Reimbursement to Retail Chain Too Low

Also, Express Scripts is also in the analytics business using Ingenix analytics (a wholly owned subsidiary of United Healthcare) to figure out who will not be taking their medications.  The predictive initiatives are one part of a far broader category of programs by insurers and pharmacy-benefit managers.  BD 

Express Scripts- New Program to Contact and Predict Patients Who May Not Be Taking Their Medicine Based On Ingenix Algorithms–We Want the Revenue Please Don’t Stop

Walgreens has also been in the news in wanting to sell health insurance. 

Walgreens Going to Sell Health Insurance? Data Information Connections Are Alive to Mine for Potential Premiums Rates & Chronic Conditions–Insurance Subsidiary Alert

And if that doesn’t work, then there’s alcohol and their data selling business is worth just under $800 million.  Express Scripts may miss out on the additional bonus of being able to sell other purchase profiles for non-prescription data like retail chains do.  BD 

Walgreens Applying For and Getting Liquor Licenses Across the US – Be Healthy and Get Your Alcohol Here Too

 

Darby Ziegler stopped by her local Walgreens drugstore in Huntington Beach the other day to refill a prescription. She got her meds — and some surprising news.
Beginning Jan. 1, Walgreens will no longer fill prescriptions for Anthem Blue Cross members, meaning that they'll have to switch to another drugstore if they want their insurance to keep covering their meds.

In this case, though, it's not the insurance giant calling the shots. Instead, it's Anthem's pharmacy benefit manager, a St. Louis company called Express Scripts Inc.
The dispute between Walgreens and Express Scripts highlights how consumers can find their healthcare choices limited by the money-minded business decisions of big corporations.

That's something Express Scripts will soon have more clout to do. The company is spending about $29 billion to acquire rival Medco Health Solutions Inc. If the deal passes regulatory muster, it would give Express Scripts control over about a third of the market for pharmacy benefits. Nearly 4 billion prescriptions are dispensed in the U.S. annually.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lazarus-20111007,0,2128189,full.column

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