Wal-Mart already has competition for its new generic drug discount program. Minneapolis-based Target will match the retail giant’s discounts on nearly 300 common generic drugs.
Starting last Friday consumers in the Tampa Bay area can get 30-day prescriptions of the drugs for just 4-dollars. Brad Ashwell with the Florida Public Interest Research Group calls it damage control for Wal-Mart, which tipped him off to the program several days before announcing it. But he says it’s still good news for consumers.
“I mean I still think the drug industry is really the worst of the two evils – they definitely need to reigned in. And if Wal-Mart can do it that would be great.”
Ashwell says Target’s discount matching is encouraging, too… because it could pressure Wal-Mart to extend the new program, and force other competitors to follow suit. Wal-Mart says it will offer the program across Florida in January – and nationwide after that.
Consumer advocates say Target’s move to match Wal-Mart’s generic drug discount program comes as no surprise…but could help people even more in the long run. Both Wal-Mart AND Target now offer 1-month prescriptions on nearly 300 common generic drugs for just 4-dollars at their Tampa area stores. While many of the drugs are already available to those WITH insurance at the same price or less, the discounts will be an immediate help to the UN-insured.
Brad Ashwell with the Florida Public Interest Research Group says consumers might not feel the real benefit until later…
“They have a lot of buying power and if they and now Target can pressure the drug industry – and maybe even give the drug industry incentives to create more generics – that would be a great thing. It would lower the cost of drugs for millions of Americans, and it would lower the burdens on Medicaid and Medicare…and could have a really profound effect.”
Wal-Mart plans to offer the discount program statewide in January – and then eventually nationwide. Ashwell says Wal-Mart is still far from a model corporate citizen – especially when it comes to employee healthcare. And that Target’s response is simply about staying competitive, nothing more.
Monday, 25 September 2006 01:00
Wal-Mart Target DrugsWritten by WGCU Newsroom