Sunday, October 30, 2011

Walgreen's commits Seppuku

Last week, we reported on the little tug-o-war between Walgreen's and Express Scripts.

Guess who won?

Yesterday, I received snail-mail from Walgreen's:

"[W}e are not planning to be part of Express Script's pharmacy provider network as of Jan. 1, 2012 ... The following health plans in your area use Express Scripts and cannot ensure continued in-network access to Walgreen's in 2012: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield."

Genius, pure genius!

Take one of the two primary carriers off the Rx table, secure in the knowledge that there aren't a gazillion other pharmacies available to provide what is, in reality, a simple commodity. Given that you can't swing a cat without hitting a CVS, or Walmart or Target (trust me, I've tried), it should take all of, oh, maybe five minutes (max?) to find an alternate distributor.

According to their website, Walgreen's filled "778 million prescriptions in fiscal 2010."

So, they're about to instantly lose over 90,000,000 of those.

Now there's a great business model: voluntarily ditch 11% of your customer base.

Sounds like someone's angling for a bailout...
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