Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Walmart’s Ongoing Commitment To Drive Unnecessary Costs Out of the Health Care System

BENTONVILLE, AK, Sept. 15, 2009 While the debate over health care reform continues, Walmart remains committed to doing its part to reduce the cost of health care for everyone. Walmart announced today it is expanding its prescription mail delivery program nationwide, making it easier to receive prescriptions regardless of whether or not customers live close to a pharmacy. From Cromberg, California, to Rockleigh, New Jersey, Americans can order, with a valid prescription, a 90-day supply of eligible prescriptions for only $10 and receive them via free mail delivery, simply by visiting walmart.com/pharmacy or by by calling 1-800-2REFILL. Further, Walmart’s free mail delivery program has no gimmicks, no memberships and no enrollment fees.

Walmart’s $4 generic drug program has helped so many patients afford their medication needs, but unfortunately we’ve found there are still too many patients unable to take advantage of our low prices because they are home-bound or live too far from a Walmart or Sam's Club pharmacy,” said Dr. John Agwunobi, president of Walmart’s health and wellness division.

“With this program, we’re able to provide consumers in every rural town or big city across America with more affordable prescription medicines through a convenient, free mail delivery system. Our $10 mail delivery prescription program is a true reflection of Walmart’s commitment to drive unnecessary costs out of the health care system so Americans can live healthier, better lives,” said Dr. Agwunobi.

Bottom Line: Wal-Mart deserves the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for all its ongoing anti-poverty measures, including Everyday Low Prices and $10 prescription drugs.


At 9/15/2009 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree Wal-Mart has the infrastructure to make changes. As an example they dispense some of their prescription on cards with 30 pills in punch outs. This means that the pharmacist need do no more than slap a label on the box. This makes a lot of sense and cuts unnecessary costs.
Clearly from the furious re-building of drug stores (Walgreens/CVS) across the country there is a lot of margin in the business.

At 9/15/2009 9:56 PM, Blogger John A said...

"Due to Federal regulations, we need the paper prescription given to you by your doctor before we can fill your order. Depending on how you would like to receive your order, you can drop off the prescription at your local Walmart Pharmacy or mail it to us."

Huh? My doc has faxed (from hospital's EMail system, to recieving EMail system...) prescriptions for years. Drugstore.com, if interested.

Oh, and that ninety day 'scrip. I had to spend time convincing doc to do that: seems some insurance companies will only reimburse thirty-day prescriptions.

At 9/15/2009 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just FYI competition works Costco does this also. And it also posts prices on its web site.

At 9/15/2009 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walmart is king of the bait and switch: they have a cheap list of select generic drugs, but if you need something not on the list, they jack up the price much higher than it was before they had the discount list.

At 9/15/2009 10:36 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The rest of the story:
a. It's competition from generic drug makers that is the economic lesson here.
b. Who wants to wait at Walmart for 3-4 hours for a prescription?
Seniors? Walmart marketing folks predicting you'll buy an item or two not on the list?

At 9/15/2009 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck, then why haven't CVS/ Walgreens adopted this since they have the same sources? Note that you can request refills by phone, and then come in later to pick them up.
No one says you should not shop all the sources, it is unfortunate that there is not a requirement to post all drug prices so comparison shopping is possible. Perhaps such a requirement would also counteract the drug adds.
Buying other items what drug store doesn't do that except a few prescription only places the big 2 do, even to the point of carrying the as seen on TV stuff.

At 9/16/2009 6:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Walmart is king of the bait and switch: they have a cheap list of select generic drugs, but if you need something not on the list, they jack up the price much higher than it was before they had the discount list."

Not really. To my knowledge they have the largest list of $4.00 generics. All my small town doctors have a list of the $4.00 drugs sold by Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreen's, Super One and others. In my case there are some generics not sold by Wal-Mart but Super One sells them therefore I get it there. There are $4.00 generics not sold by Super One that Wal-Mart and CVS sell and so on. No one drug store sells all the $4.00 generics. Get over it and find another straw man, Okay?

At 9/16/2009 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's competition from generic drug makers that is the economic lesson here.

Generic drug makers do not "compete" with companies that spend tens of millions of dollars on drug research, development and testing. They are parasites who in many ways stifle research and development and drive up the costs of drugs still under patent, as this article in Forbes explains:

Expensive clinical trials that come just as a drug is losing its patent protection are a real problem for drug makers. Here at ACC and last fall in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pfizer presented positive data on Norvasc, its treatment for high blood pressure. Too bad Norvasc loses patent protection next year.

Why should drug makers pay for long-term research trials that can easily cost a hundred million dollars or more if they get no sales benefit? Or if the results will never move the stock price?


Real drug companies must recover the considerable costs associated with the development of a new drug (and the costs of research that does not result in a salable drug) in a very short period of time (Approx. 13-15 years). Generic drug makers simply file suit in order to get access to proven and popular technology.

Extending the life of drug patents would allow the drug makers a longer window in which to recover costs and make a profit. As a result, they could charge much less for their products. Profit saves lives.

At 9/16/2009 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:10: Then foil their evil plans!!! Get your drugs that are not on the $4 list somewhere else. Easy, right?

At 9/16/2009 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The longest I have waited for a prescription from Walmart is 20 minutes. My local walmart is actually faster than my local walgreens which is difficult to understand (walgreens has better staffing levels and more automated dispensers - probably because they run many more insurance claims than Walmart).

At 9/16/2009 1:20 PM, Anonymous Ian Random said...

Now if they can reduce the $1e9 cost of bring out a new drug. I heard something like allowing a drug on the market after phase I studies have determined that it is non-lethal.


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