PHARMACY

Walgreens offers month’s supply of drugs to patients enrolled in insurance marketplaces, but without ID numbers

BY Alaric DeArment

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Patients who have enrolled in the new healthcare insurance marketplaces but haven’t received an identification number from their insurers can receive up to a 30-day supply of prescription drugs at no upfront cost at Walgreens, the retail pharmacy chain said.

Through the end of January, customers can take confirmation of their enrollment in the public health insurance marketplace to a Walgreens pharmacy, or the pharmacy staff can check to verify eligibility, and they can obtain up to a month’s supply of many branded or generic medications at no upfront cost.

"We understand that all the chains that come with healthcare reform may create some questions for newly enrolled individuals," Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness Kermit Crawford said. "We are deeply committed to helping these patients get, stay and live well by helping them get their medications without interruption."

The chain said it was reaching out to insurance companies’ operations groups to request nightly eligibility file updates on health insurance marketplace plan enrollees to help ensure Walgreens pharmacy teams have the most up-to-date coverage information, as well as encouraging patients enrolled through the public marketplace to confirm coverage with their insurance companies. Pharmacy staff at Walgreens stores will individually review patient benefits and work with insurance companies directly to confirm benefit eligibility.

 

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PHARMACY

Mylan hires former Biocon executive to lead Indian marketing division

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Mylan has hired Rakesh Bamzai as its president for commercial and emerging markets in India, the drug maker said Thursday.

Mylan said Bamzai has more than 20 years of experience in the drug industry, having previously served as president of marketing at Biocon.

"We were extremely pleased when Rakesh asked to join our company," Mylan president Rajiv Malik said. "Many of us at Mylan have had a firsthand opportunity to work with Rakesh over the course of our strategic partnership with Biocon and have observed his strong business and marketing acumen, his strategic insight and outstanding leadership skills."

 

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Walmart offers prescriptions for no upfront cost to Obamacare enrollees

BY Alaric DeArment

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is offering prescriptions at no upfront cost to patients who enroll in the public health insurance marketplace, the mass-merchandise retailer said.

In a New Year’s Eve announcement, the retailer said that through the end of January, it would fill up to a 30-day supply of prescriptions with no upfront cost to customers who have enrolled in the marketplace, but have not yet received their plan identification information from their insurance providers. Pharmacists at the stores will be able to help patients verify enrollment and answer questions about the new insurance plans.

"At Walmart, we are committed to offering our customers affordable ways to stay healthy, including access to their medications," Walmart SVP health and wellness John Agwunobi said. "Customers who have signed up for the public health exchanges should be able to access their benefits immediately."

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act took full effect Wednesday as the new year began. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 2.1 million people have enrolled in a private health insurance plan through the federal and state-based marketplaces, but due to glitches in the marketplaces early on, that’s more than 1 million less than the number that had been expected. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it’s hoped about 7 million people will be enrolled this year.

 

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