Supermarket News describes how supermarkets have reacted to Wal-Mart’s $4 generic drug program, which is now almost a year old. There is a lot of discussion about what supermarkets are doing: emphasizing service, offering some discounts themselves, giving away free antibiotics. The supermarket folks seem reasonably confident that things are going ok. Actually they’re just lucky that most customers have insurance and so aren’t as vulnerable to Wal-Mart’s low pricing.
My guess is that supermarkets have lost a significant share of customers who don’t have drug coverage. I also believe that fewer customers will find they need drug coverage in the future, thanks to what Wal-Mart’s done.August 20, 2007