Thursday, October 21, 2010

Walgreens and Epocrates Collaborate to Provide Health Care Professionals Access to Prescription Savings Plan Information at the Point of Care

Now, more than ever, patients need to save on drug costs. Here's the press release:

Walgreens and Epocrates Collaborate to Provide Health Care Professionals Access to Prescription Savings Plan Information at the Point of Care

Real-Time Availability Helps Physicians and Other Health Care Providers Save Patients Money on Thousands of Medications

SAN MATEO, CALIF., Oct. 20, 2010 - Walgreens (NYSE: WAG)(NASDAQ: WAG) and Epocrates, Inc. today announced Walgreens Prescription Savings Club (PSC) formulary list of more than 8,000 brand and generic medications is now easily accessible to physicians and other prescribing health care providers using Epocrates' mobile and online drug reference products. The collaboration between Walgreens and Epocrates allows health care providers to be better equipped to identify lower cost medication options for their patients when writing or refilling a prescription.

"Providing the Epocrates network of prescribers convenient access to our Prescription Savings Club prices will help continue to drive awareness around the exceptional value the discount club offers on a broad range of medications," said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens vice president of pharmacy operations. "As health care providers, we help patients be compliant with their medications and want to make sure they are aware of their options, including ways to realize savings without compromising safety, service or convenience."

Using Epocrates, health care providers can quickly check and compare the Walgreens PSC formulary to determine if a less expensive drug option is available, which can provide patients with significant monthly savings for frequent and required medications. Prescribing providers will have free electronic access to the Walgreens PSC list, which includes treatments for most chronic conditions and diseases, such as insulin, statins and antivirals. In a recent survey of more than 1,000 physicians, about 80 percent of respondents reported changing a prescribing decision based on information available in Epocrates.

"This is a big win for our network of nearly 300,000 U.S. physicians and their patients," said Rose Crane, chief executive officer and president for Epocrates. "By having this information readily available at the point of care, health care providers can have a meaningful conversation with patients about prescriptions and find the right fit medically and financially."

More than two million pharmacy patients are enrolled in Walgreens PSC. PSC is not insurance, but a discount club that offers members price reductions on cash purchases of prescription medications. The PSC formulary spans every drug category with significant savings on some of the most commonly prescribed medications, including treatments for pain, asthma, blood pressure, cholesterol and women's health. It also covers preventive and lifestyle drugs, such as weight management, smoking cessation and family planning, which are often not covered by insurance.

"When I prescribe a medication for a patient, I'm not always confident they will get it filled. By identifying the best option for them before they even leave the exam room, I feel I'm doing everything I can to help ensure compliance. Now with access to the Walgreens PSC formulary, I can give them an affordable option and definitive location to pick up the prescription," said Dr. Robert Dudley, family practice physician. "I'm hopeful this will make it easier for patients to comply with their drug regimen and be easier on their wallets."

Epocrates' free drug reference application, featuring retail, government and health insurance formulary lists, is available online or for download to mobile devices including iPhone®, BlackBerry®, Android™ and Palm®. Further information about the Prescription Savings Club is available at

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