Savings From Wal-Mart Program

I must admit that the $4 generics programs across the country cause me to have a mixed reaction.  On the one hand, it’s great.  It saves patients money.  In theory, it should encourage compliance.  On the other hand, if they get processed as cash transactions, I worry about them not showing up as claims which could limit the effectiveness of the POS (point-of-sale) DUR (drug utilization review) process.  [DUR includes things like drug-drug interactions.]

But, I was very interested to see some of the Wal-Mart data being published.

“While $1 billion in savings is an astonishing achievement, the real savings to America – and its health care system – are even larger. That’s because many of our competitors have also lowered their prices.  [Four dollar] prescriptions now represent approximately 40 percent of all filled prescriptions at Wal-Mart. Nearly 30 percent of $4 prescriptions are filled without insurance – significantly higher than the 10 percent industry trend.”  Dr. John Agwunobi, Wal-Mart‘s senior vice president and president of health and wellness

You can go drill down on some of the data (e.g., state by state savings) here.  Some of the top states were:

  • Texas ($132,628,224)
  • Florida ($72,443,467)
  • North Carolina ($48,241,530)
  • Georgia ($42,279,383)
  • Missouri ($40,213,963)

It is also great to see that 30% of all the $4 generics are being filled by people without insurance.   It was also good to see that they are focusing on bringing new generics into this group faster which was another historical criticism that I had.

One Response to “Savings From Wal-Mart Program”

  1. HOW DOES IT WORK?

    I asked the Walmart pharmacist who pays the difference between the retail (“usual & customary”) cost and their $4/$10 charge?
    1) You have no coverage – Walmart covers the loss and you pay $4/$10.
    2) You have coverage but don’t use it to avoid the donut hole or provider spying – Walmart charges you $4/$10.
    3) You have coverage and use it – Walmart charges your plan/provider $4/$10 and you pay Walmart the same.

    This does not seem to add up?!

    When I checked my prescription history at my plans web site, they applied the full retail cost to my donut hole balance, which can be a lot even on “generic” drugs.

    I also noticed that this “retail” cost was different at Walmart, Rite Aid, et. al.

    Does anyone know how this works??

    PS THANK U WALMART for considering me as important as the drug lobbyists!

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