Two problems with Walgreens, which have been passed along as of August 25, 2008 to Greg Abbot, Texas Attorney General, of which I've been assured an investigation will take place due to, in the AG staffer's words, "an alarming increase in similar complaints since the beginning of the year."
First complaint is Walgreens Health Initiatives practice of denying all Prior Authorizations on prescriptions that do not explicitly meet FDA usage recommendations. Ie, Adderall for those suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, certain fentanyl pain medications for those diagnosed with chronic neuromuscular pain and who have shown tolerance to more traditional opiates. According to the AG's staffer, WHI is one of the smaller PBMs, but has the highest number of rejected Prior Authorizations.
In other words, Walgreens' cubicle doctors are practicing medicine on patients they've never examined.
Second complaint is Walgreens practice of ungodly markups on their pharmacy products. Example: 5 mg Diazepam (generic valium) is purchased in lots of 1000 pills for a wholesale cost of less than $15. Cash price for 30 pills exceeds $30. That is a markup from a cost of 1.5 cents to $1 per pill. There are hundreds and hundreds of such similar examples.
This is why Walgreens will fill all scripts with generics over brand without telling the patient--Walgreens gross profit SKYROCKETS with generics due to markups in some cases of over 2000%.
This is wrong. Just wrong. I look forward to both the AG's investigation as well as the joint investigation by Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle.