Contract ends series of disputes over prescriptions

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Walgreens pharmacy chain will again fill prescriptions from customers in the Express Scripts network starting in September under a new multiyear contract that ends an impasse between the companies.

The agreement reached last week follows a series of disputes between Walgreen Co. and St. Louis-based Express Scripts that ended with the discontinuation of the contract between the drugstore operator and the pharmacy benefit manager last year.

In Missouri, more than 110,000 consumers were estimated to be affected by the dispute.

Express Scripts administers prescription drug benefits for several employee health plans, and it pays drugstores like Walgreens to fill prescriptions. Since January, Walgreens has not filled prescriptions for Express Scripts, saying the company was not paying enough in drug dispensing fees. Many pharmacy competitors advertised their willingness to fill Express Scripts prescriptions. Walgreens' sales have suffered since the split, according to its financial reports.

The Associated Press reported Express Scripts Holding Co. said it ended the contract with Walgreens because the drugstore operator wanted a premium compared to what Express Scripts paid other pharmacies. Walgreen Co. had said it would rather give up the revenue than continue filling unprofitable prescriptions.

The companies said in a statement that Walgreens will rejoin the network of pharmacies available to Express Scripts customers starting Sept. 15.

The terms of the new agreement were not disclosed.

* Cash Mob Cape will meet at 11 a.m. Saturday at the parking lot on Independence Street in front of the former Baba's Famous Steak & Lemonade in Town Plaza for its second cash mob event. At that time it will be announced the locally owned business the Cash Mob will be shopping and the location for lunch after. A Cash Mob is group of shoppers who, at a specific time, descend on a locally owned business to boost sales by spending a predetermined sum, usually $10 or $20. Afterward, mob members typically relocate to a nearby locally owned restaurant for additional socializing and to share ideas for future events. About 50 shoppers participated in last month's event, which took place at the Bilderbach Plaza on North Main Street. Organizers say this month's midtown location is a family-friendly shop, with many items that will appeal to both sexes and all ages. The local business is made aware in advance that it will be the target so it can prepare inventory and staff to take care of the surge in business that day. For more information, visit

* Three out of four of the nominations for awards that will be presented at the Missouri Main Street Conference in St. Louis this week by Old Town Cape were selected as semifinalists. Those nominations are the Charles L. Hutson Auction/Straight No Chaser Benefit Concert, Operation Main Street: Business Success Series and Volunteer of the Year. State Beauty Supply was also nominated for the organization's Business Excellence Award.

* The University of Missouri Cape Girardeau County Extension Center will host a Lunch & Learn at noon July 30 to discuss small-business inventions and how to seek funding from Federal agencies to take it to market.

The session leader is John Woodson, the Missouri Business Development Program's regional technology specialist for commercialization. Woodson is an employee of the Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla, Mo.

He assists qualifying businesses submit proposals for grant funding to many federal agencies. His work experience in industrial maintenance, aviation electronics and the military has prepared him in dealing with the inner workings of the targeted federal agencies.

For information, call the Extension Center at 573-243-3581. Lunch is provided.

* The Perryville Chamber of Commerce will host a job fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 22 at VFW Post 4282 in Perryville, Mo. The following businesses have already signed up to participate: Manpower, Kelly Services, Cape Career Center-Veterans Division, Workforce Employment Solutions, Elite Travel, Perryville Parks & Rec Department, Maurices, Department of Corrections in Farmington, Mo., Modern Woodmen of America and Isle of Capri Casino.

There is no charge for businesses participating in the job fair or job seekers who will be attending it. Businesses can reserve space by calling the Perryville Chamber at 573-547-6062.

* Southeast Hospital ranked as one of the nation's Best Regional Hospitals for 2012-2013, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Southeast is one of 16 metro and nonmetro hospitals in Missouri to be recognized by the magazine. Southeast ranks 10th in the state, along with six others, for being high performing in one of 16 medical specialties.

Southeast Hospital was lauded as "high performing" in urology for the second year in a row. Southeast ranks as one of 326 hospitals in the nation to score high marks for urological care for 2012-2013.

This year, U.S. News showcased 732 Best Regional Hospitals, selected from nearly 4,800 hospitals nationwide.

* Tri-State Pools has moved from 304 N. Kingshighway to the former Wieser PowerSports building at 2215 Broadway in Cape Girardeau. Tri-State Pools, owned by Jack Byrd and David Myers, began by constructing in-ground and aboveground pools and then later added a retail shop. The store offers chemicals, parts, water testing and Brunswick pool tables.

Southeast Missourian business editor Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or

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