In one break in their ongoing dispute, Walgreen Co. and Express Scripts Inc. have agreed to allow members of two health benefit plans in Puerto Rico to retain access to Walgreens pharmacies.


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Walgreens, Express Scripts reach accord in Puerto Rico

October 7th, 2011

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, and DEERFIELD, Ill. – In one break in their ongoing dispute, Walgreen Co. and Express Scripts Inc. have agreed to allow members of two health benefit plans in Puerto Rico to retain access to Walgreens pharmacies.

Walgreens said Friday that members of MMM Healthcare Inc. and PMC Medicare Choice Inc., which specialize in providing health coverage to Medicare beneficiaries, will be able to continue to get pharmacy services at its drug stores at the start of 2012.

In late June, Walgreens announced that it will exit Express Scripts' retail pharmacy network as of Dec. 31 because of failed contract renewal talks with the pharmacy benefit manager. The drug chain and PBM remain at an impasse, and Walgreens has since begun efforts to move forward without participating in the Express Scripts network.

"This contract will enable us to continue providing our convenient, accessible pharmacy services to the thousands of MMM and PMC members in Puerto Rico after Dec. 31 and is evidence of the commitment Walgreens has in working with our partners to continue serving our patients and customers," Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness at Walgreens, said in a statement.

MMM Healthcare is one of the leading Medicare Advantage providers on Puerto Rico, with more than 153,000 and over 8,000 health providers. PMC Medicare Choice, a sister plan of MMM, provides extended benefits to the island's Medicare population, covering over 47,000 lives through a network of 8,000 contracted primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals and other health professionals across Puerto Rico.

"We are extremely satisfied that Express Scripts Inc., our pharmacy services administrator, and Walgreen Co. were able to reach an agreement so that the MMM and PMC members can continue accessing Walgreens pharmacies," stated Orlando Gonzalez, president of MMM and PMC. "Although we have an ample pharmacy network, our main interest is to ensure that our members have adequate and timely access to their medications on the island or when they travel stateside."

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