Thursday, December 15, 2011
Statement by CORE-Congress of Racial Equality National Spokesman, Niger Innis:
We are very concerned with the probable end of the partnership between Walgreens and Express Scripts. Many working class Americans of color depend on the discounted prescription rates they are able to secure through Express Scripts.
Many within the business community and business media estimate that vulnerable populations could face up to a 30% increase in prices for vital medication. They also assert this decision of Walgreen's is going to hurt Walgreen's bottom line.
CORE is troubled by the assertion of some that should the above stated presumptions (profit loss for Walgreen's and working class patients increased costs) be true; the only motivation Walgreen's could have in making this decision is a desire to minimize or eliminate lower income customers.
Considering Walgreen's recent history and image, we would strongly urge that they reconsider this decision. In the past few years Walgreens has been sued by several states for allegedly eliminating or restricting access for Medicaid patients; this alleged practice may have led to the death of a child in Denver who was subject to inferior care due to a Medicaid coverage dispute. Walgreens was sued by the Bush administration's EEOC for alleged illegal discriminatory employment practices against 10,000 African American pharmacy (and other) employees.
This decision to terminate the partnership with Express Scripts, and the unintended consequences visited on vulnerable patients, would add to a disturbing narrative about the Walgreen's corporation.
We would urge reconsideration.
New York, NY