Walgreens announces 90-day prescription initiative

September 30, 2009

Walgreens recently launched an initiative for 90-day prescriptions that promotes delivery of maintenance and chronic care medication through its national network of more than 7,000 pharmacies and employer worksite centers.

Walgreens recently launched an initiative for 90-day prescriptions that promotes delivery of maintenance and chronic care medication through its national network of more than 7,000 pharmacies and employer worksite centers.

As part of its program, Walgreens pharmacists will work with patients, physicians, insurers, employers, and managed care organizations to implement a comprehensive 90-day at retail prescription program for maintenance medications including the conversion of traditional 30-day chronic care prescriptions into 90-day prescriptions.

Many pharmacy benefit plans allow for a 90-day supply of certain medications from local pharmacies, but many employers and other payors are not taking full advantage of this benefit, Walgreens said in a statement to Drug Topics.

 “Other benefit plans penalize patients financially if they seek to fill prescriptions from their local pharmacy, and certain patients are often required to use only mail order programs,” the statement said. Many insurers and managed care organizations offer a 90-day retail benefit at a lower cost than the traditional 30-day retail prescriptions, realizing that increased adherence reduces overall health plan costs.

Walgreens said that its consumer research indicates that patients prefer to use their local pharmacy for prescriptions, due in part to the opportunity to consult with a trained pharmacist to answer questions and obtain support for managing their condition. Obtaining a 90-day supply at a conveniently located pharmacy encourages improved adherence to medication therapy, consistent interactions with a trusted and informed pharmacist and better health outcomes.

Stanley B. Blaylock, President of Walgreens Health Services, said, “Reducing costs, while at the same time providing better outcomes, is job No. 1 in health care today. Walgreens is currently in many meaningful discussions with insurers and managed care companies about the cost-saving benefits inherent in our program.”