The Checkup: Fill Prescriptions at Walgreens? Maybe Not Anymore

A dispute between Walgreens and a prescription-management company will leave millions of customers in the lurch.

• When a Walgreens pharmacy moved in near my parents’ house when I was in middle school, it immediately became our go-to for filling prescriptions. It was convenient in more ways than one: the store always seemed to be on our way home, and the place had a drive through pharmacy window. Now, thanks to a contract dispute between Walgreens and a company called Express Scripts that manages prescriptions for insurance companies, my parents—and millions of others on prescription drugs—may not be able to get their scripts filled at Walgreens pharmacies anymore. It’s unclear what’s really at the heart of the dispute—according to this NPR story, it sounds like a he-said-she-said argument—but the outcome means that anyone with the words Express Scripts printed on the back of their insurance cards can’t use Walgreens pharmacies any longer. Last year, 90 million of Express Script’s 750 million prescriptions were filled at Walgreens. Are you affected by the change?

• A small study found that nicotine patches can be useful in helping curb symptoms of mild dementia. Once it reaches the brain, nicotine interacts with the brain’s nerve receptors and activates the ones used in attention, learning and memory. So the low nicotine doses administered by patches might be just what the doctor ordered for dementia sufferers. More here.

• So … this happened: The government in Greece decided yesterday to add pedophilia to its list of state-recognized disabilities, under which qualified residents can receive disability pay from the government. Yeah. People are pissed.