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Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 09-21-2006, 03:36 PM   #1
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Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

(CNNMoney) -- Wal-Mart announced Thursday a pilot program in Florida to sell about 300 generic prescription drugs for as low as $4 for a 30-day supply.

Nice way to try to polish their tarnished image. If this works, maybe they'll start selling heavily discounted individual health policies...<"yeah, like that's gonna happen" emoticon>

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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 09-21-2006, 04:10 PM   #2
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
If this works, maybe they'll start selling heavily discounted individual health policies...<"yeah, like that's gonna happen" emoticon>
Why sell health insurance when they can just sell you medical care directly?

Attention Shoppers: Low Prices on Shots in Clinic
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 09-21-2006, 04:42 PM   #3
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

Could be a good thing unless they choke out most of the competition by pricing below cost without acknowledging so.

Generics are already pretty cheap in many cases. Note that a 6 month supply of hydrochlorothiazide costs about $18, or $6 per month. What I'd really like to see is prescription drugs come down to competitive prices. Like Lipitor et al.

So, y'all come on down to Tampa for your refills. We'll leave a light on for ya.
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 09-22-2006, 08:28 AM   #4
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Could be a good thing unless they choke out most of the competition by pricing below cost without acknowledging so.

Generics are already pretty cheap in many cases. Note that a 6 month supply of hydrochlorothiazide costs about $18, or $6 per month. What I'd really like to see is prescription drugs come down to competitive prices. Like Lipitor et al.

So, y'all come on down to Tampa for your refills. We'll leave a light on for ya.
The largest cost element of a generic is the distributor and pharmacy mark ups. Walgreens is a good example of this with their very high markups. How else do you think they can afford to put one on every corner?

Generic drug manufacturers are already squeezed so tight that most operations are now going to India and China. The margins are razor thin and getting more so every day. Walmart may start a pricing war which will force the other mega pharmacies to reduce their highly inflated markups. The end result will be cheaper generic drugs but will push even more manufacturing of generics off shore. Material and labor are the largest costs in a drug and both those elements are far cheaper in India and especially China right now. There is a tidal wave of movement from the US and EU countries into India and China for materials and large volume manufacturing.

It is impossible to compete in a low wage and low cost environment. Production costs in Western countries is very high due, in part, to all the Fed and state regulations on wages, employment, pollution controls, FTC, ATF, EPA, DOT, and a whole bunch more agency regulations that don't apply in these other countries. Even FDA regulation enforcement is far less on products made in these countries due to much shorter inspections as compared to US manufactures. Not a level playing field.

Overall, I think Walmart's price reductions will be a good thing for consumers but will also create some hand wringing with the other major pharmacy chains. There could be some additional consolidation as prices errode and they have to control their costs more to keep themselves profitable.
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 09-22-2006, 08:52 AM   #5
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

Any seen a list of the drugs? I haven't been able to find one.
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 09-22-2006, 09:03 AM   #6
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

http://www.usatoday.com/money/indust...t-druglist.pdf
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 09-22-2006, 09:06 AM   #7
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

Target just announced they will be doing the same. Don't have their list yet but the news said 300 generic drugs.
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 09-22-2006, 09:53 AM   #8
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

That list, if accurate, will save a lot of money for a lot of my patients.
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 09-22-2006, 09:54 AM   #9
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

Man, I HATE Walmart.................always SAVING me money..............

Plus, if I buy an RV, they'll let me park in their lots..........FOOLS!!!!!

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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 10-05-2006, 10:53 AM   #10
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

Walmart to begin its $4 generic prescription program statewide in Florida by Oct. 6, four months ahead of schedule.

"Wal-Mart said it pushed forward its schedule because of customer demand and requests from Florida state officials.

The program was originally planned to be rolled out statewide in January 2007.

Wal-Mart has also expanded the program to include 314 generic prescriptions available for up to a 30-day supply at commonly prescribed dosages, up from an earlier number of 291 generic medicines.

The retailer said the new list of generic drugs now represents nearly 30 percent of prescriptions currently dispensed in the 235 Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market and Sam's Club pharmacies throughout Florida."
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 10-05-2006, 02:06 PM   #11
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

Just for example

One medication that I take for acid reflux is on the walmart list for $4

Walgreens near me charges $30 and my insurance company another $20 on top of that for the same med.

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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 01-21-2007, 11:52 AM   #12
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

Hey, just a follow up on Walmart's $4 program. My doc just renewed my Lovastatin (cholesterol) prescription so I thought I would give Walmart a try. Sure enough, cost $4 as advertised. That will save me about $15/mo. Another prescription, which is not on the list, will save me about $5 per pop. The clerks were actually very nice. Never been a big Walmart fan but might as well take advantage of the discounts.
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 01-21-2007, 12:14 PM   #13
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

Target is also going to the $4 generic program, it may be available now. Lovastatin was on their list.
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 01-24-2007, 07:28 PM   #14
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

[quote=Rich_in_Tampa ]

Generics are already pretty cheap in many cases. Note that a 6 month supply of hydrochlorothiazide costs about $18, or $6 per month. What I'd really like to see is prescription drugs come down to competitive prices. Like Lipitor et al.


Hey RichinTampa,
my dad is on Lipitor 10mg daily. He lost his insurance and had to pay cash for a while
and I helped him since I'm in the business. The prices are the same for all strengths. So the first month I split 20mg tabs in half; 2nd month 40mg in quarters; 3rd month I cut 80mg tablets in eighths. I didn't think it could be done but was accomplished with moderate ease and success. So I was able to buy him #4 80mg tablets that magically turned into 32 slivers for a monthly cost of about $12.
Granted his daily dose was probably between 8 to 12mg, but not critical with this
med IMHO.

**Disclaimer - you can not do this with many, many, many meds. Ask your Dr. or
pharmacist first always; obtain expressed written authorization from the MLB
association, blah,blah,blah...etc...*****
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 01-24-2007, 08:38 PM   #15
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

[quote=SlowTwitcher ]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Hey RichinTampa,
my dad is on Lipitor 10mg daily. He lost his insurance and had to pay cash for a while
and I helped him since I'm in the business. The prices are the same for all strengths. So the first month I split 20mg tabs in half; 2nd month 40mg in quarters; 3rd month I cut 80mg tablets in eighths. I didn't think it could be done but was accomplished with moderate ease and success. So I was able to buy him #4 80mg tablets that magically turned into 32 slivers for a monthly cost of about $12.
Granted his daily dose was probably between 8 to 12mg, but not critical with this
med IMHO.
Pill cutting can be a very cost-effective strategy. Most pills that are not "time-release" or XL, or CR, or ER can be split but not all. As you say, check with the pharmacist carefully on each drug. Importantly, the designer version may be replaceable by the mundane version (lovastatin versus atorvastatin - lipitor) but in some cases it matters. For example, lipitor raises HDL a bit more than lovastatin, etc. But I am always happy to advise my patients on when it is wise and when it isn't (cutting, swapping, etc.).

With drugs like hydrochlorothiazide, doses of 12.5 mg (below the standard tablet size of 25mg) are often just as good for most patients. And convenience pills which combine two common other drugs are often more expensive than the combination bought separately. Then there are drugs which are completely equivalent but vary drastically in price (e.g. medrol and prednisone) with appropriate dosing. Too much for a layman to track but a few words about cost consciousness to a friendly primary care doctor should do the trick.

I still use lots of good old generic stand-bys. Until the evidenc shows the newer fancy product is clearly better I figure "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs
Old 01-25-2007, 08:08 PM   #16
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Re: Walmart to heavily discount prescription drugs

Hey us pharmacist need to get paid.
Yall just dont understand the system. Insurance companies must be charged your usual and standard charge. Which basically means everyone gets charged the same. So walgreens charges a higher price cause they know most of there clients have insurance. If I charge insurance 12$ and they will only pay $10 they wuill pay me $10. Which may only be a buck or so over cost on a brand but yes we make more on generics. Now if I charge the insurance company 8$ they only pay 8$. So the usual charge is usually slightly inflated to make sure we get what the insurance will pay. Now if you walk in we charge you 12$.

So what do you do ?
Pill cutting may be an option. Insurance companies used to do this until someone decided that the patient was getting short changed some how. You can ask the pharmacist to call the doctor for a cheaper alternative. As rich says in his example there are cholesterol medications that come generic. If you come into the hospital its likely that you will get one of those since we automatically switch it to the one we carry. You can also see what the "discount" pharmacies charge and have whatever pharmacy you go to "match"it. Or you can get a discount pharmacy card. Which may cost you few bucks but saves you the hassle of shopping. Although costco lists its prices on its web pages. So you can get an idea of a discounted price.If you get a cream that you use always go for the largest size.

Oh and really the 4$ thing is BS. You might be better off getting 100 at a time . It may be cheaper in price or may save you money but not having you in wally world or wherever spending money every 30 days.
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