Walgreen Open to Express Scripts Deal

Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) would be willing to resume filling prescriptions for Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) customers, as long as the company receives what it considers to be fair compensation, after the end of their contract on December 31 forced millions of Express Scripts customers to switch pharmacies.

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In mid-December, Walgreen offered “significant cost concessions” in negotiations with Express Scripts when compared to an earlier proposal to keep reimbursement rates flat for the next three years, said Kermit Crawford, president of Walgreen’s pharmacy, health, and wellness services.

But Express Scripts didn’t accept the offer “and actually suggested pushing negotiations into the new year,” said Crawford, who supervises Walgreen’s negotiating team and reports to CEO Greg Wasson. Though Walgreen is open to further negotiations, Crawford says “the ball is in their court,” and that Walgreen had decided to “move on.”

Brian Henry, an Express Scripts spokesman, says his company is open to an agreement with Walgreen, but says they are asking to be paid more than other pharmacies. “We have remained open to having [Walgreen] in our network, but only at rates and terms that are right for our clients and are consistent with other pharmacies,” said Henry.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Emily Knapp at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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