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  • stevevajs stevevajs Jan 1, 2012 10:55 AM Flag



    The reinvention of the pharmacist’s role comes at a critical time for Walgreen, as it vies to keep its customer base. The company has so far been unable to reach a new contract with the pharmacy benefit giant, Express Scripts. At the same time, Greg Wasson, the chief executive, is trying to remake the company into a national provider of health care services.

    This last summer, Walgreen sold its own pharmacy benefit management company for more than $500 million to a Maryland firm in a deal that Mr. Wasson said would help the company focus on becoming the consumer’s “most convenient choice for health and daily living needs.”

    Fits perfectly with how Arcadia Resources were doing with both DailyMedRx and Arcadia HealthCare & Staffing model IMPO.

    Review every tab and click on the type of treatment. Never seen this before from WAG until today. I think this is the new WAG Health & Wellness now.

    Seems like this website was just released if im correct.

    Smoking gun to me.

    This topic is deleted.
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    • immerlogic,

      There have been over 1000 exemptions granted under The Affordable Care Act. These groups, of which 40% are unions, are not required to purchase coverage in the pool. Many more are expected to be granted before the priviledge expires.

      I agree that MD's are part of the problem, and patients have a huge role in controlling healthcare with both smoking and obesity as very topical and largely controllable contributants to cost. You can also add in the enormous costs of litigation at every tier in the cost pyramid, though no poilitician has the gonads to take on tort reform or the ABA K Streert lobby.

      As for your snarky remark about my incessant posting on message boards... this is like my third post since well before Christmas. I am not the other posters that the intellectual eunichs like ivan.paduski constantly claim me to be.



    • Yank, my discourse was intended as an indictment of all participants in healthcare. Yes, Walgreens and all pharmacy retailers included. I included physicians and patients also. The root cause though & the most responsible parties (outside of Washington) were the insurance companies. You would put PBM's on a pedestal, but they are just opportunists like everyone else. PBM's have helped control costs. While doing so, they have lined their own pockets. The political machine has a use for PBM's in trying to control costs, but only because they just don't know how to throw the insurance industry out of pharmacy care. Many in congress have been aware of the cause of escalating costs for 3 decades but they let it get out of control as they just couldn't refuse the outrageous bribes of the pharmaceutical manufacturers and the insurance industry.
      Regarding Obamacare the wording clearly requires everyone to be a part of the pool, not just offer them the opportunity. That is not the best way to deal with The hospital emergency dept. woes you speak of. Emergency rooms should not be required to treat regardless of ability to pay.
      You, by the way, are the one who needs to get out more. I'm not the one posting incessantly on message boards.

    • dbl_dbl, check the Apple list again. Less than half of those ideas were original.

      You sound bitter.

    • Walgreens failures were not original ideas. Just trying to get on the bandwagon. Not since intercom have they had an original idea. They just keep going around and around. Sell liquor, no don't sell liquor, now sell liquor. I forgot, sushi in a drugstore is an original idea and so is electric car recharging, so folks can nibble and recharge their cars while waiting for prescription. that will be big, really big!

    • Your analysis of the pharmacy space is truthful, but ignores the other basic truth which is, that just like the bank space, retail pharmacy grossly overexpanded (and that unnecessary growth continues to this day). All those expensive, convenient little boxes entail huge overhead costs. In fact, an excellent example weas raised the other day about the onset of cat scan technology and how simply everybody had to have one... to the point that most sit, under-utilized at enormous cost to everyone that now pays for a scan.

      So...enter PBM's as the new sheriff in town. Finally someone steps in to referee the healthcare cost free-for-all. Yes they took on big pharma. Yes they took on the insurance companies. And yes they took on the pharmacy establishment. And, in our NIMBY world of "let someone else take the hit" the PBM's have become an object of scorn and lobbyist spending as the K-Streeters fight to preserve truth, justice and The American Way of Greed. But make no mistake about it, PBM's are the ONLY difference between pharmacy costs just being ridiculously high and being unapproachable for most American consumers.

      You write your paeans to Walgreens all you want, but they are as much part of the problem as is big pharma. And your ridiculous blather about forcing all people into a common risk pool is NOT the crux of Obamacare. Rather, it sets as a goal that EVERYONE is eligible to be part of group care, so they do not have to pay ridiculous self-pay rates that are skyhigh for the same treatment as an uninsured individual. The concept that you must have SOME group coverage, even if it is through Wshington, finally addresses the underground healthcare reality cost where uninsureds go to the ER for care, then simply skip on the bill and leave taxpayers to pay for them 100%

      You really need to get out more. Or read with better comprehension.



    • Rob, it's interesting that you think it's OK to give away penicillin and make it up somewhere else. Do you suppose Publix charges an extra $10 on the cough syrup that goes with it? Within a couple of months after Walmart announced their $4 rx plan, a woman came to my 24 hr Walgreen with 9 rx's in hand. She was visibly upset. Dr told her she would have to purchase the 9 rx's & bring them to hospital before he would discharge her husband. She called Walmart for quotes which included 3 of the $4 rx's. She scraped up the $131 total Walmart quoted, but when she got to the pharmacy, it had closed 20 minutes early & employees ignored her banging at the window. She provided me the quote list from Walmart and I proceed to fill the rx's at Walgreens retail prices which came to $124. She was delighted with her $7 savings and her pleasant late night experience. She remains a Walgreens customer today, and we have always worked with her to provide value. That was not the norm. Walgreens overall is higher than Walmart, but not as much higher as some people (yourself for instance) think. The $4 plan is just part of the smoke & mirrors that many retailers use to create an image of value. Most frequently that image is one that the retailer does not truely live up to.

      Your 7 points to control health care costs are truly the daydreams of an uninformed consumer (or possibly an informed one who prefers to mislead). Regarding point (1), the idea of putting all US citizens into a risk pool is a marxist idea. If a US citizen does not wish to be part of the risk pool, no one has the right to force him. Not even President Obama who has been known to utter the same nonsense. Regarding point (2), it is private insurance that put us in the position of high cost healthcare to begin with. Back in the early 70's the United Auto Workers coerced the automakers Ford, GM & Chrysler into providing Rx drug insurance. At that time the average cost of a prescription was about $3.50 at the pharmacy I worked. Branded oral contraceptives were 99 cents. Brand Lanoxin was 99 cents for a month supply. The pharmaceutical mfrs association took out ads in monthly magazines in which they took pride that rx drugs had experienced zero inflation in the past 30 years. Then came the insurance experience. Doctors wrote the most expensive meds because their patient no longer had to pay the bill. Patients demanded brand name because they didn't have to pay the bill. Pharmacist dispensed brand name to appease the patient because the insurance company would pay them a higher profit for brand. They were paying full AWP back then and most pharmacies bought at an 8-10% discount. Insurance companies didn't care how much they were billed because drugs were cheap compared to other health care costs and anyway it was easy to raise the price to Ford, GM & Chrysler. Drug companies learned that no one cared that there was no inflation in Rx drugs, so they started increasing prices by 5...10...often 15% annually. Some even increase more than once a year. Every time research developed a new drug it was priced higher than any drug had ever been before. Still no one cared. By the time the world woke up to what was happening, virtually all employers had begun purchasing rx drug insurance for their employees and paying through the nose for it. Manufacturers charged as much as they could for drugs & devices. Insurance companies would make token complaints about rising health care costs, but they enjoyed knowing that rising costs actually were necessary to assure their survival. Insurance companies were seen as fighting rising costs, but their fight began too late and never in earnest. By suggesting that insurance companies are the cure to high health care costs, you play right into the script they have written.

    • So you're saying no company should have failures?

      1. Apple Lisa
      2. Macintosh portable
      3. Apple Newton
      4. Powerbook Duo
      5. Macintosh Performa
      6. eWorld
      7. Pippin
      8. Copland OS
      9. Macintosh Clones 96-97
      10. Apple USB Mouse
      11. Power Mac G4 Cube
      12. Apple TV

      You're real problem is that you're out of the loop, and it eats away at you.

    • You have the facts wrong. Item introduced in test in Texas was, Western Union Money gram service. Another failure. But, back to Prescription Savings Club, which had enrolled more than 2 million people sometime around 2007. You can find that in past press releases. Today, if you look at the Wag website, it appears they are leading away from that "name" and trying to incorporate it into a new card/program named Walgreens Health. I didn't bother to read the details. After spending most of my career in corporate headquarters, I have seen so many attempted strategies fail it is difficult to get excited over this. Plus, you just couldn't imagine how many divisions, subsidiaries, programs and projects had name changes, not just once either. It became hard to keep track of. How many times did the name for Walgreens PBM change? Here are just a few of the failed endeavors;
      Cafe W
      Athletic clothing line
      Ink refill
      Western Union
      DSL service
      Walgreens private brand (another "renamed" product line)
      Walgreens branded credit card (never got off the ground)

    • Not to pick nits with anyone, but with regard to WAG's Prescription Savings Club, it has been around for years. It's nothing new. There is a discount in the cost to sign up this month, yes, but it's not exactly a big part of the WAG strategy vis-à-vis ESRX. Just one more way to hold a bit more market share as the short-term pain of this contract dispute unfolds.

      In reference to the title of this thread, I can pretty much assure you that if there is a smoking gun, ain't nobody here seen it yet! WAG's upper crust is pretty tight-lipped about their long-term strategic planning. When something big happens, I usually hear it from the district boss, who in turn got it from the regional VP maybe a day earlier, who him or herself heard it right from the horse's mouth probably that very same day.

      A very secretive company, to say the least.

      If nothing else, I think it is a safe assumption that there will be some interesting "developments" in the coming months.

    • Walgreens Prescription Savings Club Plan has been around for more than four years. So it is not a new program. It is strictly for the uninsured and any dog. (seriously, not a joke) So I wouldn't call this a smoking gun. The offer is for a "discount in January". It costs money to joing the plan. Additionally, the announcement states that the price paid for prescriptions for generic drugs are competitive with other pharmacies.

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