Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wal-Mart's Generic Prescriptions Are Almost Free

BENTONVILLE, Ark., May 5, 2009 Today in Michigan Walmart announced a pilot program that will offer a 90-day supply of 300 generic prescriptions, each for $10 via free mail delivery. Beginning today, from Detroit to Grand Rapids to Alpena, Michiganders across the state will be able to take advantage of this new affordable pharmacy program from Walmart by calling 1-800-2REFILL. Additionally, Walmart’s free mail delivery program has no gimmicks, no memberships and no enrollment fees. This announcement signals Walmart’s commitment to help consumers save money on prescriptions regardless of whether or not they live close to a Walmart pharmacy location.

Dr. John Agwunobi, Walmart’s president of the health and wellness division said "Our $10 mail delivery prescription pilot program is a reflection of Walmart’s commitment to drive unnecessary costs out of the health care system so Americans can live healthier, better lives. Now regardless of whether consumers in Michigan have a Walmart pharmacy in their local community or not, we can help save them money.”

In addition to the 300 generic prescriptions for $10 each, Walmart’s free mail delivery program provides access to more than 3,000 other affordable brand and generic prescriptions, making it convenient for Michiganders to fill all their prescriptions via one simple and affordable program, especially if they don’t live near a Walmart store or Sam’s Club pharmacy.

This new initiative builds on the successful $4 prescription program which to date has saved customers more than $2 billion dollars on their prescriptions, including more than $43 million in Michigan. The company expects this savings number to continue to grow with the addition of this new pilot program.

MP: Maybe instead of turning over America's health care system to the federal government, we should turn it over to Wal-Mart.

11 Comments:

At 5/06/2009 11:12 AM, Blogger JimJinNJ said...

Amen!
There any number of private firms (and maybe a few military units) that could do national healthcare very well--not that I want NHC.

But if we are going to get it, let's at least have the smartest guys in the room manage its delivery. I can't think of three more screwed up operators--government, insurance carriers, medical providers.

Even further, Uncle could provide seed money for WM to open "emergency rooms" in their stores to take the burden off hospital ER's.

Only one catch, BO and company need to unionize W-M first.

 
At 5/06/2009 11:38 AM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Mark,
Here's another fun story about markets to the rescue: http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/05/ebay-is-saving-archeology-by-killing-the-antiquities-market.ars

 
At 5/06/2009 12:39 PM, Blogger Erik said...

As if the prices of generic perscriptions would be the problem with the US health care system...

As an economist, you should see that insurance companies have the incentive to try to not pay for health care when they can get away with it. Health care providers on the other hand have incentives to do unnecessary tests and treatments when they can get away with it. Then there's all the overhead costs for solving the conflicts that arise. Anyone can see that fighting huge insurance companies for your rights can be hard for an individual, especially when he is ill.

All this added up, together with patent laws, has created by far the most expensive health care system in the world, and still most or all other rich countries in the world have health care that covers everyone. Don't you think it is time for you to question your beliefs?

 
At 5/06/2009 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Erik
Please wake up and do some research.
The US health care is better than the countries that have socialized medicine. Covering everyone is not the objective!
If all you care about is covering everyone, then I will PERSONALLY volunteer to cover everyone in the US. (I can see about 15 people a day and seeing that there are 300 million people in the US. If you make an appointment today I can schedule an appointment for you in about 10000 years)

 
At 5/06/2009 6:43 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"All this added up, together with patent laws, has created by far the most expensive health care system in the world"...

Nope! I've seen and experienced socialist health care in all its medical glory and its still better here which isn't the samething as saying its as good as I would like it personally...

High Cost of Health Care?!?!...:-)

 
At 5/06/2009 9:22 PM, Blogger Erik said...

Sending a link suggesting a case of corruption within US politics doesn't really say anything about health care.

In my last post I sent a link with health care costs in 19 countries, 18 which have health care that covers everyone. Each of these countries have they're own system and they differ in many ways. Which socialist system (in fact probably none of them is entirely socialist) you have tried matters a lot.

There are several European coutries which have more doctors, nurses and hospital beds per capita, lower infant mortality rates, fewer people living with sickness etc. Here's a lot of stats. Almost no matter what you look at, some western European countries come out looking better than the US.

 
At 5/07/2009 9:33 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Low, low prices for generic drugs is a good outcome for the consumer. Making Wal-Mart a health-care provider is bad idea as a result of bizarro extrapolation.

It has been only a few years since internal memos giver to Wal-Mart managers revealed: health care for workers can be received at local county hospitals where it is "free". Wal-Mart executives urged their managers to suggest this to employees because so many
employees were without health benefits. Wal-Mart has grudingly increased benefits to now include 53% of employees having some sort company health benefits.

Bottom line: Wal-Mart is a great low cost distributor of goods from China but health care would involve compassion and caring and this not the company mission.

 
At 5/07/2009 11:06 AM, Blogger Dave Narby said...

Less market pumping...

...And more posts like this, please!

 
At 5/07/2009 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as I appreciate Wal-mart, their prescription prices are almost double those at Costco. For the last two years I have regularly checked to see if I can go back to Wal-Mart, but their prices are still totally uncompetitive.

 
At 5/07/2009 6:48 PM, Blogger Ronduck said...

Newt Gingrich stated in a book ten years ago that the medical profession would either end up like Wal-Mart or would become socialistic.

 
At 5/08/2009 8:57 AM, Anonymous feeblemind said...

My Dad has a PhD in animal nutrition. He used to be a big believer in generic prescriptions. Now that he is in his 80s and needs some medication, he does not want to use Wal-Mart generic drugs because he fears they were made in China and are tainted with God-knows-what?

 

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