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  • dr_tjm42 dr_tjm42 Sep 28, 2012 10:22 AM Flag

    Walgreen admits "challenge" ahead in return of customers lost in Express Scripts battle

    Walgreen CEO Gregory Wasson admits challenges are ahead in bringing customers back who switched pharmacies in a year-long dispute with drug benefit manager Express Scripts. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

    Walgreen (WAG), closing the books on a “challenging” fiscal 2012, admitted to investors today that regaining customers lost from its contract dispute with Express Scripts (ESRX) is going to be a tough sled.

    This morning, Walgreen chief executive officer Gregory Wasson wouldn’t disclose specifics or predict the number of customers and prescriptions that would return to the nation’s largest drug store chain even though Walgreen renewed its relationship with Express Scripts effective two weeks ago.

    “We will find out more and more as we get into this,” Wasson said on a conference call this morning when pressed by Wall Street analysts and investors for more details.

    Wasson and his management team said Walgreen is using direct mail, coupons and a marketing barrage to win customers back but realizes consumers during the dispute left for other pharmacies such as CVS (CVS).

    It could take months, if ever, for consumers to switch back to Walgreen pharmacies depending on their health plan network and a variety of other factors. From now until December is also normally the time people with insurance at large employers decide which health plans they will choose for the next year, which also could weigh in their choice of pharmacy.

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