Archive for July 19th, 2012

Uncle Herrman, Why Would I Want To Pay More When I Can Pay Less?

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

The posting immediately following this one has spurred a reaction from Molly Mulebriar, resident intern in training.

“Bill, first of all, Uncle Herrmann is doing fine, fishing at Lake Guerrero with his buddies. But, the real purpose of this email is to ask you, why would anyone want to pay more for a drug when they can get the same drug down the street at CostCo, Walmart or HEB  for as much as half the price? It just does not make sense. And why would a PBM include a string of retail pharmacies on their panel, knowing that drugs purchased there are priced higher, in some cases much higher, than the same exact drug down the street from a pharmacy also on the network panel?

We advised Molly to read previous postings on this very same subject:,

This growing phenomenon is called an SBPPO – which some call a “narrow” network –


Editor’s Note: It’s all about marketing, Molly. A broad PPO network listing is more popular with consumers whose only skin in the game are silly co-pays, than a narrow and limited panel of providers.

Uncle Herrman, They Kissed & Made Up!

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Express Scripts and Walgreens Announce New Pharmacy Network Agreement
Dear Benefit Adviser,We are pleased to inform you that earlier today Express Scripts and Walgreens announced a multi-year agreement. As of Sept. 15, 2012, Walgreens will begin to participate in the broadest Express Scripts retail pharmacy network for new and existing clients. 

The Sept. 15 date should provide a reasonable timeframe for you to communicate to your clients. Here is a brief overview of how this agreement will affect them:


Legacy Express Scripts clients with broad networks: As of Sept. 15, Walgreens will begin to participate in the broadest Express Scripts retail pharmacy network for your new and existing clients.


Legacy Medco clients with broad networks: The broad network for legacy Medco clients includes Walgreens. This agreement does not affect your clients’ current network and has no impact on their members.


Clients with narrow networks: The agreement does not apply to our narrow networks.  Clients in these networks will not be affected as Walgreens continues to not participate.


Express Scripts is developing an internal communication package to help your clients convey this information within their organizations and anticipates making these materials available in the coming days.


Express Scripts members can log in to to see pharmacies that are currently in their network. By Sept. 15, Walgreens pharmacies will be visible on the Express Scripts pharmacy locator for members who are in the broadest network.


Express Scripts continues its commitment to making the use of prescription drugs more affordable, and aligning with your best interests to provide a clinically sound and economically responsible pharmacy benefit. Express Scripts has a variety of pharmacy network offerings to address the needs, member access and economic objectives of your clients.


Over the past year, we never lost sight of our goal: alignment with our clients’ interests. We appreciate your business and are passionate about improving the health outcomes of your clients’ members.


If you have any questions or comments, please contact your Express Scripts Strategic Relations Director.


Best regards,


Express Scripts

See –

Whats Wrong With The Health Care Media?

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

“……health reporters aren’t functioning like real reporters these days. All too often they are uncritically passing along messages that appear in White House press releases…..”