Thursday, January 12, 2012

Exclusion of Walgreens by Express Scripts affects thousands!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

"When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers" goes the adage. That is what seems to be happening in the prescription drugs arena. Recently the healthcare middleman Express Scripts Inc decided to exclude Walgreens from its network. This move will impact thousands of patients who need prescription drugs on a regular basis and also others who might need prescriptions filled.

How is this move by Express Scripts going to affect the consumer? Well let me start by telling you about Express Scripts, the healthcare middleman. This company is the liaison between pharmacies and the people who pay for healthcare plans - employers, insurance companies, etc. Express Scripts negotiates rates on both sides keeping the other oblivious of what rates they are paying or receiving.

This empowers them to keep enormous profit margins instead of making a modest commission which middlemen are entitled to. How does it affect consumers? Express Scripts can charge high to the employer and pay low to pharmacies which will make it very difficult for the latter to be viable and may even lead local community pharmacies to close down. Express Scripts can implicitly dictate where a consumer needs to go to buy drugs. With the agreement between Walgreens and Express Scripts falling apart consumers of the former will be forced to change their pharmacies and some will even have to drive farther to access the entity approved by the latter. This will end up causing immense hardship and inconvenience to the consumer.

Another large segment of the population that will be affected by this agreement is our service personnel. Our brave men and women soldiers and members of the armed forces are provided healthcare and prescription drug service by Tricare, a client of Expres Scripts. Now these people are also affected due to this spat.

During negotiations with Express Scripts, Walgreens offered a guarantee that they would match the rates of all other pharmacies in the network, but even then there was no deal forthcoming. This will affect our veterans, serving members of the forces and their families. All because Express Scripts has not been able to make a deal with Walgreens.

As a responsible company Walgreens has begun to offer consumers help with their prescription with programs such as the membership to its Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens at a discount. This will enable consumers to still be able to get their prescriptions filled at Walgreens at the same or lower costs to Express Scripts rates.

If you are one of the affected due to this split I would encourage you to take up a stance. Contact your local media, newspaper, television channel, or radio station and voice your opinions. If you are into social media support Walgreens by liking Walgreens on Facebook, following Walgreens on Twitter, etc.

If you have been a Walgreens  customer for several years, you need to be worried.

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American Solders Actions Cause Outrage in Afghanistan

Taliban: Peace talks not harmed by urinating-Marines video I was surprised to see this video on The video shows American soldiers urinating on corpses dead Taliban fighters. Of course everyone in the so-called civilized Western world is outraged that their soldiers have indulged in such demeaning actions. Afghanistan authorities are also angry, they have called for action from the US and asked for the concerned soldiers to be punished after investigation into the incident.

This video comes at a bad time when US is preparing to negotiate with its protege - The Taliban. I call the Taliban as US Protege because it was the brainchild of American congressman Charlie Wilson who funnelled billions of dollars in the late 1970s and 1980s to arm Taliban fighters (then called Mujahideen) so they could defeat Soviet Union. Now the Taliban has come back to bite the hand that fed it - the US.

It is true that anyone would be outraged to see someone urinating on dead people, even if they were bad people. I definitely believe that they have a right to be angry and the guilty people must be punished. But let us take a step back and examine what the Taliban were doing with their prisoners. It is well known they used extreme methods of torture such as gouging out eyes, cutting off ears, nose and decapitating them etc. Bloody methods of torture and now this incident has them up in arms and has made them very angry. What about the families of those whose bodies that were returned by them without ears, nose, eyes, etc? Did they apologize or were they even mentioned in the media?

If America were to apologize for the actions of its soldiers in front of Tailban leaders, it seems like the world's superpowers are kneeling in front of a rowdy, rogue entity whose sole aim is to kill everyone who doesn't agree and follow its ideology. This video which I hope is the plant of a mischief monger and not true comes at a bad time in the world history. This might just be the fulcrum needed to pivot Taliban back to power in Afghanistan and then all the war effort of the past decade will be in the naught.

Only time can tell what will happen.... I hope whatever happens leads to a more peaceful and verdant world.