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Walgreen Merger

March 28, 2012 by staff 

Walgreen Merger, Walgreen Co. (WAG) says it sees some flexibility in retaining access to Medco Health Solutions Inc.’s (MHS) clients even if the pharmacy-benefits manager is acquired.

Walgreen’s management toldanlysts during an earnings conference call that while it hopes to maintain a relationship with Medco if a merger with Express Scripts were to occur, discussions with health plans and employers led the drugstore chain to believe Medco’s clients have greater control to keep Walgreen in their network than Express Scripts’ customers did.

A contract between Walgreen and Express Scripts expired at the end of last year over a dispute involving reimbursement rates.

Though Walgreen doesn’t have full visibility into the specific clauses and contracts Medco has with its clients, Chief Financial Officer Wade Miquelon said Medco clients have the added benefit of watching the Express Scripts contract dispute unfold and can look ahead to when their contracts end.

Walgreen declined to provide any specific details about its terms with Medco, though Miquelon called the company’s ongoing contract with Medco “fair for both parties.” He added Walgreen intends to serve all patients unless the new company took “an extraordinary action, effectively terminating the existing contract or materially changing the terms or financial agreements.”

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