Military Personnel Won’t Be Able to Fill Prescriptions at Walmart
The other night I had to run over to Walmart and pick up a prescription for my wife Kathy. In front of me in line was a neighbor serving in the Air Force at Whiteman picking up a prescription for his little one. That scene's about to become significantly less common because of a change in the Tricare network.
According to an article on the Fox 2 Now website, Express Scripts recently ended a multi-year agreement with Walmart to participate as a pharmacy provider for the Tricare network, which impacts veterans and members of the military who fill prescriptions at Walmart.
Luke Kleyn, Vice President of Payer Relations at Walmart told Fox 2 Now, "We value our Tricare and DOD customers and are disappointed in Express Script’s decision and we have requested more information from them to understand their decision." He also told Fox 2 Now Walmart was surprised to hear Express Scripts ended Walmart's multi-year agreement to participate as a pharmacy provider for the Tricare network a few days after Walmart and Express Scripts signed an agreement.
According to the Express Scripts / Tricare website, Walmart and Sam's Club will no longer be part of the pharmacy network after December 15. Members, of course, can get prescriptions filled on base from the 509th Medical Group and at Walgreens, along with having maintenance medications delivered to their home.
Walmart can be a polarizing company. Some folks love the prices and the experience of shopping there. And others point to the negative impact that their megastores can have on the communities they come into.
For me, it's a bottom-line issue. I need to stretch a buck, and Walmart's been able to help my wife and me do that. And the pharmacy is no exception to that. I hope our vets and service members don't wind up paying more for their meds because they can't choose Walmart and stay in network.