Walgreen Co. reported that clients of pharmacy benefit manager Navitus Health Solutions have saved $3.3 million in seven months through the Walgreens 90-Day At Retail prescription drug program.

Walgreens, Navitus Health Solutions, Walgreens 90-Day At Retail, prescription drug program, pharmacy benefit manager, PBM, chronic medications, Colin Watts, pharmacy benefit plans, pharmacy, drug store, Alan Van Amber

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Walgreens 90-Day At Retail yields savings for PBM

November 30th, 2010

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. reported that clients of pharmacy benefit manager Navitus Health Solutions have saved $3.3 million in seven months through the Walgreens 90-Day At Retail prescription drug program.

The drug store chain said Tuesday that under its alliance with Navitus, the 90-Day At Retail program — initiated in February and measured through September — has seen the penetration rate rise over 67%, driving additional cost savings.

Through the offering, all covered members of Navitus PBM clients can preserve their relationships with their community pharmacists across Walgreens' more than 7,600 pharmacy locations nationwide and have the convenience of 90-day instead of monthly refills, according to Walgreens. The company added that research has shown that patients who receive a 90-day at retail supply for their chronic medications have much higher adherence rates versus those receiving a 30-day supply.

Many pharmacy benefit plans allow for a 90-day supply of certain medications from local pharmacies, but other payers and employers often are not taking full advantage of this benefit, Walgreens noted. In addition, Walgreens 90-Day At Retail offers some members savings based on more attractive rates for 90-day prescriptions, a reduced number of dispensing and administrative fees and customary pricing.

"As the leading provider of community and employer-based pharmacy, health and wellness services, we are uniquely positioned to offer programs like 90-Day At Retail, which reduce overall health costs, improve patient outcomes and give consumers and employers additional choice," Colin Watts, chief innovation officer at Walgreens, said in a statement. "Results from Navitus' clients demonstrate what we already know — namely, that when they are given the option and made aware of it, employers and consumers see significant value in 90-Day At Retail, and the program can drive lower costs. This is key for payers such as Navitus, who also need to measure and improve outcomes for their members, and is part of the reason our unique set of health care solutions is increasingly resonating with payers and employers."

Walgreens said the implementation of the program has also led to an additional 6- to 11-percentage-point improvement in the generic dispensing rate for 90-Day At Retail prescriptions (up to 77.3%) when compared with those filled via mail. That increase is generally driven by the benefit of the face-to-face interaction with the pharmacist where the patient is being advised, if appropriate, that there is a cheaper generic alternative, according to the company.

Patients also are more aware the potential savings when having 90-day scripts filled, since generics typically are much less expensive than branded medications, meaning that extra cost is being removed from the equation, Walgreens explained.

More than 1 million covered lives through the Navitus network have access to the Walgreens 90-Day At Retail program.

"We are pleased to be able to offer our clients what we believe is a true advantage: the convenience of having 90-day prescriptions filled at their local pharmacy along with the benefit of face-to-face interactions with a trusted community pharmacist," stated Alan Van Amber, vice president of pharmacy network development at Navitus.

"Navitus continues to provide its 100 percent pass-through business model, where all discounts accrue to the benefit of our clients and their members, evidence-based clinical programs and quality patient care," he added. "But we also feel providing our clients and their employees choice when it comes to their health options is a real advantage. We are excited by the positive results experienced during our alliance with Walgreens so far, and we look forward to continuing to explore additional opportunities to take advantage of Walgreens industry-leading suite of employer health services moving forward."