Walgreens: More than 250K Tricare beneficiaries lobby to keep Walgreens in network

WASHINGTON — More than 250,000 U.S. military personnel, family members, retirees and others in the Department of Defense Tricare pharmacy benefits program, and their supporters, so far have signed petitions demanding access to Walgreens pharmacies under the Tricare pharmacy program, Walgreens reported Thursday.

The pace of petition signatures from Tricare members seeking to retain access to Walgreens and their supporters has reached more than 10,000 per week in recent weeks, the pharmacy operator added.

“The last thing military personnel, families and retirees need is for their pharmacy benefits and choices to be disrupted by this issue,” stated Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness solutions and services. “Walgreens' proposals to protect Tricare members remain on the table. There is no reason the parties cannot act quickly — before the Dec. 31 deadline — to protect Tricare members from disruption. And Walgreens is prepared to do so.”

Walgreens reiterated its offer to negotiate the Tricare renewal separately from Express Scripts’ commercial business, to lower Tricare reimbursement rates across the board and to provide an ironclad guarantee that Walgreens' prices would match or beat the average costs per adjusted prescription of all other retail pharmacies in the Tricare network.

Walgreens also pledged that the company will work with Tricare beneficiaries in an effort to make any transition after Dec. 31 as seamless as possible if no agreement with Express Scripts comes to fruition.