Magazine article Drug Topics

Walgreens Shut out of Tricare Retail Network

Magazine article Drug Topics

Walgreens Shut out of Tricare Retail Network

Article excerpt

OUT OF NETWORK

Tricare, the health plan for military personnel, retirees, and dependants, has decided not to put Walgreens back into its retail pharmacy network. Walgreens left the Tricare network in December 2011 as part of its dispute with Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefit manager that handles military pharmacy benefits.

"Express Scripts has determined it will maintain the same robust retail pharmacy network of more than 57,000 pharmacies," Pentagon officials said in a statement posted on the Tricare website, "...in line with the TRICARE Management Activity's commitment to the efficient management of the TRICARE pharmacy benefit, Walgreens will remain designated as a non-network pharmacy provider for TRICARE beneficiaries."

When Walgreens and Express Scripts parted ways at the end of 2011, health plans that had included Walgreens in their retail pharmacy network had to find replacement pharmacies. When the two industry giants settled their differences in July, a Walgreens spokesman said the decision to return Walgreens to Express Scripts networks would be up to each individual health plan, available starting September 15, 2012.

The Department of Defense decided against resuming a relationship with Walgreens.

Considered in retrospect, the decision should not come as a surprise. …

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