Retailers expand $4 drug programs

May 29, 2008

National News-Wal-Mart will offer generic medications for $10 for a 90-day supply, which previously cost $4 for a 30-day supply, offering more over-the-counter medications at $4. About 350 generics are covered. At the same time, Target’s prescription drug program now includes an expanded assortment of $4 prescription drugs, 90-day supply of these medications for $10 and OTC medications for $4 or less.

National News-Wal-Mart will offer generic medications for $10 for a 90-day supply, which previously cost $4 for a 30-day supply, offering more over-the-counter medications at $4. About 350 generics are covered. At the same time, Target’s prescription drug program now includes an expanded assortment of $4 prescription drugs, 90-day supply of these medications for $10 and OTC medications for $4 or less.

Wal-Mart’s discount generic drug program operates in 49 states and has saved consumers $1 billion since its inception in September 2006 in Tampa, according to the company. The program is available in 4,000 Wal-Marts, Sam's Club and Neighborhood Market pharmacies. Wal-Mart doesn't have any store locations in North Dakota. In Florida, the generic discount program is said to have saved customers $81.4 million since its launching.

Kathee Tesja, executive vice president, merchandising for Target says: “We understand the economic challenges our guests are facing and remain committed, as always, to meeting their health and wellness needs at a great value.”

Still, some believe that the overall impact of these types of programs has not been that significant in terms of savings.

“Most of the drugs on the top 10 to 15 most-prescribed list are brand name drugs which would not be eligible in Wal-Mart’s program which covers mainly generic drugs,” says Debra Devereaux, MBA, RPh., FASHP, ?senior consultant, pharmacy benefits, Gorman Health Group. “Their lower prices for extended supply are similar to mail order plans in existence.”