June 22, 2011 in Business

Walgreen may drop big partner

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Walgreen Co. said that it is willing to walk away from more than $5 billion in annual revenue because pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts Inc. doesn’t pay it enough to fill prescriptions.

If the companies don’t settle their dispute, people whose prescription benefits are handled by Express Scripts won’t be able to get their prescriptions filled at the biggest drugstore chain in the U.S., and Walgreen would give up about 7 percent of its annual revenue.

Walgreen, which has spent months negotiating a new contract with Express Scripts, said it will stop participating in Express Scripts’ prescription plans starting Jan. 1.

Express Scripts is the second-largest pharmacy benefits manager in the U.S., and it expects to handle at least 750 million prescription claims in 2011. Walgreen said about 90 million of those prescriptions will be filled at its stores.

Pharmacy benefits managers like Express Scripts pay Walgreen to fill prescriptions.

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