Mississippi Now Included in Wal-Mart $4 Prescription Drugs Program
From: Wal-Mart Filed
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced that that its 70 stores in Mississippi
will begin participating in Wal-Mart's $4 generic prescription program
"No one in Mississippi should have to cut pills in half, decide between
taking medicine and putting food on the table, or go without medicines
altogether," said Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott. "We are proud to
be leading this effort to make sure our nation's seniors, working families
and uninsured get the medications they need at a price they can afford."
Today's announcement brought 12 new states with a total of 1,008 stores
into the $4 generic program. The new states are: Alabama, Georgia, Iowa,
Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio,
South Dakota and Virginia.
The program, which was launched in 1,499 pharmacies in 15 states during
the past month, was originally slated to begin in states outside of
Florida no earlier than January 2007. Customer demand, however, prompted
Wal-Mart to accelerate the program's launch. The other states already
participating include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida,
Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North
Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Vermont.
The $4 generic program includes 314 generic prescriptions available for up
to a 30-day supply at commonly prescribed dosages. The list of 314 generic
prescriptions is made up of as many as 143 compounds in 24 therapeutic
Wal-Mart estimates that the list of $4 prescription medications represents
nearly 25 percent of generic prescriptions currently dispensed in its
pharmacies nationwide. According to the
the list also represents 14 of the top 20 prescribed medications in the
United States. Generic medicines have an estimated cost that is 30 to 60
percent lower than an equivalent brand name product.
In making this announcement, Bill Simon, executive vice president of
Wal-Mart's Professional Services Division, indicated that the customer
response has been significant. Within four days of the October 19 roll out
announcement, more than 152,000 new prescriptions were filled by Wal-Mart
pharmacies in all 14 states.
Simon said he has heard hundreds of stories from customers and pharmacists
about the program's value. He noted, many customers have been surprised by
"In Texas, when a woman was told that the prescriptions were $4 apiece,
she became fearful that one of our associates was trying to be overly kind
and help her pay for them. So she said that she could not accept the
prescriptions because she did not want the cashier to be fired. When the
pharmacist convinced her otherwise, she exclaimed -- with tears in her
eyes -- that she was going out to celebrate by having a Whataburger(R) for
supper," said Simon. "You see, she hadn't been able to treat herself to
this indulgence for nearly a year because she was on such a tight budget.
We take great pride in knowing that this program is making a real
difference in our customers' lives."
Simon said customer savings on top-selling prescription medications in the
program are projected to be significant. For specific medications, the
company estimates the following approximate savings to Wal-Mart,
Neighborhood Market and Sam's Club customers and members in the 27
participating states, based on September average retail prices from
* Fluoxetine (20 mg), an antidepressant: nearly $1.9 million
$23.2 million annually on this medication.
* Amoxicillin (500 mg), an antibiotic: about $1.3 million
$15.5 million annually on this medication.
Simon said that Wal-Mart will continue to push for expansion to other
states as quickly as possible.
"Our goal is to respond to customer demand, but to do so in a way that
doesn't hamper our ability to serve our customers," he said. "We are
listening to our pharmacists and looking at our supply chain management
and in-store operations, so that we can figure out how we can continue to
make this program available to as many customers as possible without
jeopardizing our business or the relationship between our customers and
Consumers interested in saving money on prescriptions through the program
should ask their doctor if a generic is available for their prescription
and if it is right for them. At this time, the $4 prescriptions are not
available by mail order, but are available on-line, or by telephone for
refills only for in-person pickup in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas,
Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland,
Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New
Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas,
Vermont and Virginia.
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