WalMart Slashes Generic Prescription Prices

WalMart’s bouncing smiley face just danced up and down on top of your local CVS. Once the roof caved, he moved over to Walgreens, where the body count is pending. RiteAid is next. Cower in fear.

The dancing smiley orb of cost savings and senior citizen labor exploitation shook up the pharmaceutical industry today with its announcement that that it would sell some generic drugs for as little as $4 for a month’s supply. The test market is in the Tampa area, but will soon spread to the rest of Florida, and will cover the country like measles next year.

Sounds like a hardball first move in the prescription market. Hopefully other companies will follow suit, and we’ll see some price breaks. Especially from those companies that will actually dispense the drugs your doctor prescribes.

Wal-Mart to cut prices for generic drugs [Yahoo! / AP]

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  1. Great. $4.88 penicillin. That’ll be safe.

  2. KevinQ says:

    This isn’t necessarily good – it’s the same crap that people already hate WalMart for. They sell a few items at, or below, cost, and drive the local stores out of business. And even if they’re getting a break on the cost so that they’re making a profit on these, that means that the drug company is having to slice their prices, for the right to sell to WalMart. While lower wholesale prices might sound like a good thing, these are the generic companies – who already try to undercut the big pharma companies – and if they go out of business, or have to lower their standards to meet WalMart’s requirements, then we all lose.

    K

  3. robyns says:

    This from the company that doesn’t give most of their own employees proper health benefits.

  4. Nancy Sin says:

    Ugh, this is terrifying. Walmart brings its questionable pricing tactics to drug companies, also known for their questionable pricing tactics. This is going to get REALLY ugly.

    Just another reason that I will never go to another Walmart at will. If there’s anything I hate more than the crowd at Walmart, it’s the crowd in a pharmacy line. I can’t imagine them combined. The cigarette moms with hacking kids, the confrontational seniors grumbling because their 12 scripts can’t be filled in 30 minutes… (This is Florida, after all, unfortunately I live in Tampa Bay)


    I can just imagine Walmart’s strategy here: Now you have to shop here. Always. It’s the only place you can afford the medications you need to live! (incomprehensible cackling)

  5. synergy says:

    I hope this isn’t like with other product areas Walmart has muscled into. Usually it’s meant companies bending over backwards and handing Walmart the Vaseline and then having to sacrifice quality for quantity/demand.

  6. AcilletaM says:

    Many of Wal*Mart’s employees still can’t afford these drugs under their healthcare package.

  7. Triteon says:

    Target is matching this offer:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/22/business/main203
    Great observations, all!

  8. Roadgeek says:

    I really don’t see this as a bad thing. I despise Wal-Mart and will never under any circumstances shop there. But I must acknowledge that where Wal-Mart goes the rest of any given industry has to follow. This means that Walgreens and CVS and Rite-Aid are even now being forced to make plans to counter Wal-Mart. Prices everywhere will drop, not just at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart vs. Big Pharma….this is going to be great! I can hardly wait to see what happens when they take on the banking industry….

  9. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    This is a non-event, folks. I’ve gotten prescription antibiotics before that were so cheap, they were under my insurance co-pay. I think the final bill was in the $6 range.

    I have been Wal-Mart-free for over a year, and this is not enough to get me to shop at Wal-Mart.

  10. Triteon says:

    Roadgeek, the progression this borders on is WalMart’s stock-in-trade: lower prices begets lower profits begets lower employee wages/benefits. Sure– it will cut a couple bucks out of big pharma’s pockets, but at what (ultimate) cost?

  11. Beckie says:

    I hate Wal-Mart, almost as much as I Cingular.
    I wouldn’t get my drugs there if they were free.They know you’ll spend another $100.00 before you get to the register.

  12. satch says:

    i think its grate thay are trying to help low income people an the middle class people with no insurance people that dont like it are not to smart or rich

  13. SAVNONE says:

    Drug companies know the need for medications and prices have consistantly risen. People WILL continue to get sick despite new advances in science and technology. I work in the medical industry and find that Wal-Mart has good intentions for the people. Making medications affordable is NOT to make things harder. Rather, to force the issue that everyone already knows regarding the need to control cost. Don’t get me wrong, it is at Wal-Marts direct financial advantage as well. People complain about worker benefits…ya know nobody is telling these people to stay. Wal-Mart is upfront with all they have to offer, take it or leave it. You can benefit from price drops or continue to spend more than you need to. I speak for many people, I am not made of money and any savings is simply appreciated. QUIT COMPLAINING!!!!

  14. Commander says:

    Savnone is quite correct! If you don’t want to shop at WalMart, go somewhere else! Stop whining! As a one-time former employee at WalMart, I know what their benefits and wages are like. But I chose to work there temporarily, no one forced me. It gave me time to take stock of my life and get back on my feet. I would not work there again willingly, but I continue to shop at WalMart and though I make a good living now, I like saving money as much as the next person. Here is hoping that the other marketers will follow suit after WalMart.

  15. Glad says:

    it’s great that Walmart is making it where poeple can afford there medicine. So if it is slow just call it in a few days before you need it then go by and get it. They can’t please every one all of the time

  16. Anonymous says:

    Three cheers for Wal-Mart. And now they’ve started selling 3 months of those generics for $10. Wow! For my other meds that aren’t generic I use the prescription discount card that I found at http://www.rxdrugcard.com. Low membership fee. Drug prices posted to check before you join.