What I always pray to God is that each and everyone in my family stays healthy and well. But we cannot avoid being sick. Mild illness is fine because it can be treated with over the counter medicines. With my grandfather’s situation, he has an illness that needs to be treated by prescription drugs. He takes a few couple of medicines including vitamins. My mother is the one in-charge in buying the prescriptions. Sometimes my cousins contribute an amount of money in addition to our budget. So saving money with prescription medicines is very important to our family because we do not have a lot of resources. I wish my grandpa has a pharmacy benefit like most of the patients have here in the US.
Like in Walgreens Pharmacy, for example, we receive good prices on prescriptions. Walgreens is working to keep their pharmacy patient customers by offering Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. For $10 a year, a family membership covers everyone in your immediate family, including a spouse, dependents 22 and younger and pets. Individuals may join for $5. Join and receive discount prices on your prescriptions. Other benefits include:
- Savings on more than 8,000 brand-name and all generic medications
- Discounts on flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizers and diabetic supplies
- Bonuses when you purchase Walgreens brand products and photofinishing services
Though we are not a member yet, this is something to think and talk about. Why is Walgreens coming up with such program? Because Walgreens is not a part of Express Scripts’ network anymore. And it is effective January 2012. Is it a big deal? You might ask. The answer is, yes. To understand more about the Walgreens and Express Script issue, please read the press release. And you can find it at http://bit.ly/y6RTpL.
Express Scripts is one of the biggest pharmacy benefit managers in the United States. Their primary responsibility is to process and pay prescription drug claims. And Walgreens has been a part of Express Scripts pharmacy provider network for years. Since they are not connected anymore, Walgreens Pharmacy patient customers whose prescription insurance plans are managed by Express Scripts, will be forced to find new pharmacists. And I think it will give more hassle to the customers. On the other hand, they can always request to mail the prescriptions to their homes. But it might cost an extra money too. Of course customers do not want to lose their benefits. Valuing the local community pharmacy is also important to keep them continue to provide cheaper prescription medicines.
Anyway, this is why I am really wishing that we’ll have this type of benefit in my home country. (Sigh). Or, maybe we already have one in the Philippines that my family is not aware of.