Publix Stops Price-Matching Walmart's $4 Drug Plan

Bad news for people who were enjoying Publix’s policy of price-matching Walmart’s $4 generic drug plan—they’ve discontinued it, opting instead of offer free antibiotics.

From the Orlando Sentinel:

Pharmacy employees at a half-dozen Central Florida Publix stores confirmed Tuesday that the grocery chain has dropped its policy of matching — when a customer requested it — Wal-Mart Stores’ nationwide discount price of $4 for more than 60 generic drugs in more than 160 doses and varieties.

“We have the free antibiotics, so we were told to stop the Wal-Mart $4,” one pharmacy employee said.

Oh well. Go to Walmart (or Kmart, they have essentially the same program) for your generics and Publix (or Meijer, they also offer free antibiotics) for your antibiotics. Win.

Publix’s free-drug offer has flip side [Orlando Sentinel via WSJ Health Blog]
(Photo:Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)

Comments

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  1. DjDynasty says:

    That sucks, but with so much competition, Why doesn’t walgreens & CVS start doing these things? Osco Drugs inside of jewel are just as inconvienent as target or wal-mart drug stores.

  2. loueloui says:

    I like Publix alot, but man are they godawful expensive. Almost as bad as Whole (paycheck) Foods.

    For some reason in Florida we have both extremes in grocery shopping, the super fancy expen$ive yuppie stores like Publix, and the dirty, rude, apathetic stores like Winn-Dixie, and not much else.

    Someone please build a Kroger down here!

  3. Youthier says:

    Meghan, you just suggested people go to Walmart. Prepare for the comment backlash.

  4. ekthesy says:

    @HeyHermano:

    Yesterday, I paid $171 for Advair at CVS. I realise it’s a brand-name Rx, but I would certainly go to Wal-Mart if I could get it cheaper there.

    The price of prescription drugs in this country is so out of control that I have to revert to survival mode in dealing with it; if I had to compromise my principles to save money at Wal-Mart, I would.

  5. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    We changed health plans at work, and one change was prescriptions are covered at 50% (previously, $40 was the highest copay). Now I’m paying $449 for one month’s prescription. I guess I should be happy that Cigna will pay for all of it when I spend $2000 a year on prescriptions…

  6. ekthesy says:

    @Sir Winston Thriller:

    Lucky you. I’m working my way up to my $2,500 deductible. It’ll take me a year to catch up to it, and when I finally summit the mountain, the year’s over and I have to start all over again.

    And I pay hundreds of dollars a month for the “privilege” of being insured. I can’t even begin to tell you how pissed off that makes me.

  7. forever_knight says:

    @DjDynasty: ’cause (Walgreens, et al.) make a mint from the generics. offering generics at $4 or so will just destroy their profits.

  8. forever_knight says:

    how many of you get your mail order drugs from Canada? i’m considering it even though it won’t save me a ton. i just don’t want to support the system in this country. it is out of control.

    in related news, i get my dog’s “prescription” (what a joke) medicine like frontline and heartworm meds from Australia. i hate the fact that it has to be mailed from another continent, but i save something like $50.

  9. bonzombiekitty says:

    I’m not so sure I’m thrilled about free antibiotics. My concern is that it would make doctors more likely to give our prescriptions for antibiotics when they shouldn’t be given out. Docs already have a habit of giving prescriptions for antibiotics when people have, say, the flu. That’s not a good thing. If the antibiotics are free, then I’d be worried that more people are going to take them unnecessarily, which the result of which is more drug resistant bacteria.

  10. pestie says:

    @forever_knight: Before I had health insurance, I bought my prescriptions ($600 a month at US prices) through Canada Drugs. I never once had a problem doing so. It was still around $200 a month for the drugs I was on, but it still beat the hell out of $600.

  11. ekthesy says:

    @forever_knight:

    I did that once, and never again. They sent me prescriptions that obviously originated in India.

    Not only were the medications not inclusive of PI and safety information, they didn’t work nearly as well as the stateside equivalent. (They were respiratory meds…I have severe asthma).

  12. AdmiralNelson says:

    @loueloui: I disagree. I find Publix just as expensive as my local Safeway and Kroger. Having recently moved away from Florida I wish they would build one out here because I miss Publix so much. The selection and the prices were generally better at Publix than I could get here, plus the stores were always cleaner.

  13. RandomHookup says:

    Publix, The Store to Shop When You Have an Infection.

  14. Elijah-M says:

    @loueloui: Ever notice how the people who work at Publix and Whole Foods are competent, and appear happy to be doing their jobs? Ever notice how those stores are clean, and how (at Publix anyway) the lines are never very long? Well, that costs money. The employees who make that possible actually need to be paid a decent wage, and in an environment that enables them to feel good about their jobs.

    If you want a cheap supermarket, you can shop at one of the Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club mega-centers located sporadically throughout Florida. You’ll be supporting a company that treats their employees like chattel, you’ll spend more time waiting in line, and your actual shopping experience will be a sisyphian ordeal, but hey–you will save a few bucks.

  15. fredmertz says:

    People who pay cash for prescriptions should do it at their local Costco store. A little know fact — you don’t need to be a member to use the pharmacy and get the same prices members get.

  16. EmmaC says:

    I’m getting the $4 drugs at Target–it’s less crowded than Walmart and I know my pharmacist by name. So far, it’s been excellent service at a great price.

  17. floofy says:

    Well at least people can get their gonorrhea and chlymadia treated for free now

  18. floofy says:

    meant chlamydia