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Date Published: November 16, 2007

Major Chain Is Out -
Fagen Pharmacy Is In


Fagen Pharmacy has stepped forward to help ease the transition for thousands of employees and retirees of ArcelorMittal who are expected to lose the option of filling prescription drugs at Walgreens. Fagen Pharmacy, which operates 22 stores throughout Northwest Indiana and the south suburbs of Chicago, has agreed to provide prescription drug coverage to this group, said Melissa Fagen, director of retail and marketing.

These individuals need only visit or call a Fagen Pharmacy, or visit the company's Web site at to transfer prescriptions, Fagen said. Prescriptions can also be filled in Indiana at Accesshealth, Albertsons, CVS, Kmart Pharmacies, Meijer Pharmacy, Pharma-Card, Target, United Drugs Metro, Wal-Mart and a number of independent pharmacies, said Carolyn Castel, vice president of corporate communications for CVS Caremark, which is administering the drug coverage plan in question.

The local steelworkers are caught up in a dispute between Walgreens and CVS Caremark Corp. The dispute surfaced when Walgreens discovered it was being paid rates below market value for the prescriptions it was filling for the local plan, said Walgreens spokesman Michael Polzin.

The company asked for a greater reimbursement and has been unable to strike an agreement with CVS Caremark, he said. Walgreens coverage was due to expire Nov. 9, but a court stepped in to prevent that move, Polzin said. The new expiration date is Nov. 29, he said.

"We realize they (steelworkers) became caught in the middle of this and we're sorry for that," he said. Walgreens intends to terminate participation in the Caremark Retail Pharmacy network for four clients in the Midwest, Castel said.

"This decision was Walgreens' and not a result of any action on the part of CVS Caremark to restrict access to our retail pharmacy network," she said. Polzin said Walgreens will help customers transition to another pharmacy if a deal is not reached. "They will not go without their medication," he said.