June 5 (Reuters) - Walgreen Co reported on Tuesday that same-store sales fell 5.8 percent in May, hurt by a drop in prescriptions filled at its drugstores, but said things have “improved” as more employers and health plans are finding ways to maintain access to Walgreen‘s.
Walgreen, the largest U.S. drugstore chain, stopped filling prescriptions in January for members of Express Scripts Holding Co, which manages prescription drug benefits for employers and other clients, after the two companies failed to agree on terms to renew their contract.
Walgreen’s comparable store pharmacy sales fell 8.5 percent in May. The spat with Express Scripts hit comparable store prescriptions by 10.8 percentage points, the company said.
But in a statement Walgreen said it expects its pharmacy business to be helped by employers and health plans changing benefits managers or ensuring continued access to its drugstores.
On Monday, Walgreen said it had extended its partnership with OptumRx, a large pharmacy benefits manager.
Overall sales in May fell 1.6 percent to $5.98 billion. (Reporting By Phil Wahba; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)