Due to the huge success of Wal-Mart's $4 prescription drug program that was launched in September in Tampa, they are extending the program to 49 states (North Dakota Wal-Mart's lease their pharmacies and are not included).
Missoula's two Wal-Mart pharmacies and 10 others statewide will join with stores in every state except North Dakota to offer the cut-rate price for up to a month's supply of 331 generic drugs.
That's roughly one-fourth of the prescriptions Wal-Mart dispenses nationwide.
Fifty of the drugs on the list will sell for $9 in Montana and a handful of other states, because of state laws, according to David Tovar, national spokesman for Wal-Mart. (Missoula pharmacists at Wal-Mart were directed to forward all media questions to its national office.)
Among the more popular $4 drugs on Wal-Mart's list are amoxicillin, an antibiotic, and the cardiac drugs lisinopril (brand name Prinovil) and atenolol (Tenormin).
“We had such a great response from our customers, our pharmacists and elected officials all over the country saying we'd love you to do this in our state, we decided to speed up the roll-out by a few months,” Tovar said.
Bill Simon, executive vice president of Wal-Mart's Professional Services Division, said in a written statement that the company has received “hundreds of letters and e-mails from customers over the last few months telling us how this program has changed their lives.”
Wal-Mart is going to save a lot of money for people who need it most.
In a media release, Wal-Mart estimated customers in the first 38 states to participate in the program will save $1.3 million each month on the diabetes medication metformin (brand name Glucophage), and $750,000 a month on warfarin (Coumadin).
CEO Lee Scott says it best...
Lee Scott, president and CEO of Wal-Mart, said in a written statement the program is “bringing more affordable medicines to our nation's seniors, working families and the uninsured.”
“We are proud to have introduced competition to an area where it has been too scarce for too long,” Scott said. “We hope others will continue to join us in making prescription medicines more affordable and accessible for all Americans.”
This is smart business for Wal-Mart. They will attract a lot of new customers into their stores who will increase their purchasing at their stores. This is the free market working it's magic.