Wal-Mart rides to the rescue

I’ve written before (here and here) about the profound effect I expect Wal-mart’s $4 generics to have on US health care. In addition to the direct cost savings, it also helps consumers realize that insurance shouldn’t be necessary to pay for routine products and services.

Today I received an email from a friend that put a personal spin on it:

There has been much talk about Wal-mart and the $4 monthly supply for some generics and whether it is a real benefit or just a marketing ploy with a short list of generics covered (something like 500 out of several thousand, although my bet is it’s more like 80/20 on volume).

My wife’s doc phoned in an Rx to the local Walgreen’s (our normal pharmacy) for a generic.  I was a bit shocked to find out they wanted over $150 for 90 tablets/days supply.  I found out the drug was on Wal-mart’s $4 list at twice the dose, so I had my doc’s office call the local Wal-mart with an Rx for the higher dose.  I got 45 tablets/90 days supply for $6.  The pill splitter cost about $4.  I still can’t figure out why I’m shocked by this, given all the cost shifting and the $6 aspirins in hospitals, but I am.

Walgreen’s and others watch out.

February 26, 2007

One thought on “Wal-Mart rides to the rescue”

  1. This would only matter to Walgreens, et. al., if those companies still wanted you to utilize their pharmacies. Judging by store design and other factors, I’d say Walgreens would rather you shop there for hair coloring, bottled water, and lawn furniture than prescriptions. They’re just as happy to see that business go to Wal-Mart.

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