Pharmacy Benefit Managers

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Many Walgreens Customers Need to Find New Pharmacy

By Sarah Varney

(Ryan Ozawa: Flickr)

(Ryan Ozawa: Flickr)

As of January 1, Californians who go to Walgreens to get their prescriptions filled may have been in for a surprise. Because of a contract dispute between Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, and the company that manages prescriptions for Anthem Blue Cross health insurance, many customers will have to find a new pharmacy.

To find out if you’re affected by the dispute, you should check the back of your insurance card. If it says “Express Scripts,” you can no longer fill your prescription at Walgreens under your insurance plan. Express Scripts is a pharmacy benefit manager or PBM. PBMs negotiate prices for drugs and oversee prescription drug programs for health insurance companies, governments, unions and others.

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