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Walmart Prescription Drugs
Old 07-08-2010, 07:02 PM   #1
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Walmart Prescription Drugs

Before the July 4th holiday, my friend needed a prescription filled. Since her regular pharmacy was closed, we decided to go to Walmart. The medication is a generic that's included in Walmart's $4 program. So, I go and pick up the medication and they only give a partial fill (12 tablets) saying, since it's the weekend they can't do a full fill, the second half will be available Tuesday, after 5 PM. We wait til Thursday morning (today) but they their warehouse, manuafacturer of that medication doesn't have it yet. Should be available tonight...come back at about 7 pm. I go back after 7 and they say, the manufactuer has trouble having that medicine, if you really need it, should contact your regular pharmacy.

I'm thinking, huh? Isnt' Walmart's pharmacy supposed to be a big guy making all other pharmacies scared and shake with their $4 plans. This medication is in their $4 plan and they have trouble filling it? I guess they must contract out to manufacturers of their drugs, and if they aren't ready, too bad?

Haven't dealt with Walmart's pharmacy much. Does that happen much (the wait and wait) or was that not the norm?

The good thing is my friend is okay with the partial fill and if needs more medicine, can just get that called in at her regular pharmacy.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:07 PM   #2
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I have not had any problems at Wal-Mart Pharmacy and I have used them all over from Maryland to Texas to Colorado. I have a prescription for four drugs (on their $4 list) and have never had a short fill.

I have dual prescriptions so that I always have a backup. I rotate between Walgreens and Wal-Mart because they are everywhere. I have had a partial fill a couple of times at Walgreens -- once in Denver and another time on the road. I declined the partial that "on-the-road" time.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post

I'm thinking, huh? Isnt' Walmart's pharmacy supposed to be a big guy making all other pharmacies scared and shake with their $4 plans. This medication is in their $4 plan and they have trouble filling it? I guess they must contract out to manufacturers of their drugs, and if they aren't ready, too bad?

Wally-World gets their medications from their own warehouse, who get it from the drug manufactures, just like every other pharmacy.

The problem pharmacies will run into is when a medication is in short supply due to unanticipated demand (fluticasone nasal spray), or a manufacture will get bought out by a larger company (Teva bought Barr and Zenith) or stop manufacturing a product line because it isn't profitable anymore.

Viola instant shortages or price increases.

You'd be surprised how many meds are made by one company and then 'repackaged' by other companies as their own brand. A shortage at one company could be a shortage at 4 others.

I would dare say (maybe not in this specific case) that 98% of patients issues would be solved if they called in their prescription 3 days before they wanted to pick it up.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:16 AM   #4
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I would dare say (maybe not in this specific case) that 98% of patients issues would be solved if they called in their prescription 3 days before they wanted to pick it up.
And 100% if Mail Order is used... as most insurance companies try to get you to use anyway. Of course, if you travel a lot, that isn't a perfect solution.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:53 AM   #5
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We use walmart pharmacy all the time for 1-2 prescriptions. Common stuff so it is always in stock. On the rare occasions when we fill one off prescriptions for our kids or my parents in law, they have had the right stuff immediately. I frequently call the pharmacy to get them to call or fax the Dr's office to request a refill. No problems. Always courteous and efficient.

Cost is rock bottom. Many times the prescription costs less than the copays (for my in laws who have copays) and the insurance ends up paying nothing.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:13 AM   #6
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And 100% if Mail Order is used... as most insurance companies try to get you to use anyway. Of course, if you travel a lot, that isn't a perfect solution.
I wouldn't even say mail order is 100%. I get quite a few 'emergency' 2 week supply Rx's from people who didn't get their mail order in time. Or the regular complaints of how slow it is to get supplies. I think a little planning ahead would help with those too.


My favorite is when a patient comes in with their mail order Rx bottle to ask questions (What is this and what can I expect? It doesn't look the same? Can I take this with xxxx?)

"What did the pharmacist at the mail order place tell you?"

Patient reply, "I didn't call them, I can never get through or I'm on hold for too long."

So you'll go mail order for your meds, but come in here for the follow up that should be supplied by the mail order that got your business.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:25 AM   #7
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We use walmart pharmacy all the time for 1-2 prescriptions. Common stuff so it is always in stock. On the rare occasions when we fill one off prescriptions for our kids or my parents in law, they have had the right stuff immediately. I frequently call the pharmacy to get them to call or fax the Dr's office to request a refill. No problems. Always courteous and efficient.

Cost is rock bottom. Many times the prescription costs less than the copays (for my in laws who have copays) and the insurance ends up paying nothing.

Wally Worlds $4 price program is a great program and it was is a great marketing gimmick. If you are on meds that are exclusively on the magical list that is great. It is the pharmacy version of loss leaders.

It is the generic Rx's that aren't on the list that catch you.

Example for some Rx's:

Ibuprofen 800mg $4 @ WM & Target, $6 at local pharmacy
Zolpidem 10mg #30 (not on the list) $25 WM, $27 Target, $16 local pharmacy
Azithromycin 250 antibiotic #6 $35 WM, $42 Target, $13 local pharmacy

Take away: If your generic medicine isn't on the list, price shop.

Disclaimer: You should always try to get your medications filled at the same pharmacy so your prescription history is complete but I know this doesn't happen.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:04 AM   #8
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Ronnieboy, you sound very knowledgable about prescription drugs so I'm going to ask a question. I've been taking Plavix since 2004 and even through my health insurance mail order pharmacy, is very expensive. There is a generic equavalent but cannot be sold in the U.S. pharmacies because of a law suit by the company that developed the drug. However, I now buy it through a Canadian pharmacy that gets the generic from an Indian manufacturer named Cipla. Cipla is approved by the FDA and no doubt makes other drugs for American pharmacies. Is there any reason to be concerned about the quality of this generic drug? It's called Clopidogrel. The Canadian pharmacies are doing a booming business in this area.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:25 AM   #9
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Ronnieboy, you sound very knowledgable about prescription drugs so I'm going to ask a question. I've been taking Plavix since 2004 and even through my health insurance mail order pharmacy, is very expensive. There is a generic equavalent but cannot be sold in the U.S. pharmacies because of a law suit by the company that developed the drug. However, I now buy it through a Canadian pharmacy that gets the generic from an Indian manufacturer named Cipla. Cipla is approved by the FDA and no doubt makes other drugs for American pharmacies. Is there any reason to be concerned about the quality of this generic drug? It's called Clopidogrel. The Canadian pharmacies are doing a booming business in this area.
Personally, I would be more than happy to take a medication that was from a Canadian pharmacy, in fact the first generic Plavix (clopidogrel) that we had here in the US (before the lawsuit) was made by APOTEX a Canadian drug manufacturer.
I have to admit that I haven't heard of Cipla as a manufacturer, but if it (the manufacturer) is FDA approved and Canadian FDA equivalent (HPFB) Health Products and Food Branch approved, I would use it.
We get quite a few Indian manufactured meds here in the US (Dr. Reddy's, Aurobino, Cadila distributed as ZyGenerics, etc.)

You just have to make sure it is coming from Canada Rx and not a website that 'looks' Canadian and who knows where it is coming from.

Generic Plavix (clopidogrel) will be back in the US supposedly in 2Q 2012. Then about 6 months after that for prices to really drop.

Having said all that, alway check with your personal physician before changing or altering your medications.

And a general rule of thumb, Canada's Brand medications are less expensive than USA, generics come out sooner in Canada, but comparing equal medications: USA generics are usually always less expensive than Canadian.
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