Pharmacists watch new Wal-Mart program

Published 7:08 pm Monday, November 13, 2006

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
At least one local pharmacist is not concerned about the competition created by lower priced prescription medications offered by Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart has added Alabama to its list of states that have unveiled a new program that will allow generic prescriptions to be purchased for $4 each, regardless of insurance coverage or the lack thereof.
Although the list of generic drugs listed as part of the low-cost program seems vast, ultimately there are only a very limited number of drugs involved, Cottrell said.
Information released on the Web site indicates 314 drugs listed; however, of those listed, there are ultimately only 78 different drugs. The list shows different strengths and forms of the same medications. There are 39 items listed for anti-inflammatory with 40 drugs listed, in multiple strengths, for cardiac concerns.
Pharmacists at the local Wal-Mart store as well as pharmacists at Rite-Aid and Fred's Pharmacy referred all questions to their corporate offices.
A statement from Leo Scott, Wal-Mart president and chief operating office, said the company is proud to be leading the nation-wide effort.
An advertising representative at Fred's corporate offices indicated that a &#8220matching” program is in the works for the Fred's chain.
That matching program will allow customers to purchase the same generic prescriptions at the $4 rate currently offered at Wal-Mart pharmacies nationwide.

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