Company adds 90-day prescriptions for $10, more women’s health offerings, and $4 over-the-counter medicines in its latest “health care reform” move
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BENTONVILLE, Ark. – May 5, 2008 – While health care costs continue to be a top concern for consumers, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is furthering its efforts to help customers save money by driving down prescription medication costs and providing ongoing savings through its pharmacy offerings.
Expected to save Wal-Mart customers millions annually, today’s announcement is phase three of Wal-Mart’s $4 Prescription Program, which now covers a 90-day prescription for $10, additional women’s health medications and a new $4 over-the-counter (OTC) offer. The 90-day option gives more choices to customers and physicians who may have been limited to mail order prescriptions in the past.
”More and more people find health care, and particularly prescribed medicines, difficult to afford. This is one of the reasons we continually work to take our $4 Prescription Program to the next level,” said Dr. John Agwunobi, Wal-Mart senior vice president and president, health and wellness. “We’re succeeding in our efforts to deliver simple, affordable, quality pharmacy solutions for families struggling with the rising costs of health care. And, our customers – and their budgets – are seeing a dramatic difference.”
• Enhanced $4 Prescription Program – Beginning today, Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market and Sam’s Club pharmacies will fill prescriptions for up to 350 generic medications at $10 for a 90-day supply. This option will give customers an additional choice and save them time and money without the hassle of purchasing or signing-up for a pharmacy discount card.
• Additional women’s health medicines – Expanding on the women’s medicines added to Wal-Mart’s prescription program in September 2007, Alendronate , the recently introduced generic version of Fosamax® used to treat osteoporosis, is now available at Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market and Sam’s Club pharmacies for $9 for up to a 30-day supply or $24 for a 90-day supply. Compared to the $54 that women previously paid for the same generic supply or $102 for the same branded supply, Wal-Mart could save osteoporosis patients between $45 and $93 per month or up to $1,116 per year. In addition, medications to treat breast cancer (tamoxifen), menopause and hormone deficiency (combination estrogen/methyltestosterone tablets) were also added to the growing list of $9 women’s medications. Combined, Wal-Mart estimates that this expansion alone will save women more than $100 million annually.
• New $4 OTC offering – Wal-Mart Stores and Neighborhood Markets today began a new $4 OTC program, offering customers more than 1,000 OTC items priced at $4 or less without a prescription. Wal-Mart has rolled back prices on key OTC items to ensure that almost one-third of its OTC medicines are now $4 or lower. Now, many commonly used OTC medicines such as the Equate-brand versions of popular drugs like Zantac®, Pepcid® and Claritin® are priced at $4, approximately 50 percent lower than many national chain drugstores and grocers based on Wal-Mart’s internal research.
Women’s health products like Wal-Mart’s Spring Valley-branded prenatal vitamins were also lowered to $4 as part of the $4 OTC program now available at Wal-Mart Stores and Neighborhood Markets.
"There is no better time than Women's Health Month to strengthen our commitment to women by addressing some of their unique health care needs," said Linda Dillman, executive vice president for benefits and risk management for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “By offering these medications at affordable prices, we are helping women make their health a top priority and live longer, healthier and happier lives."
"Access to affordable prescription medicines is vitally important to the health and well-being of Texans. I applaud Wal-Mart's efforts to make this a reality through their $4 Program," said Governor Rick Perry (Texas).
Up to 95 percent of the prescriptions written in the majority of therapeutic categories are included in the $4 Prescription Program available at Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market and Sam’s Club pharmacies nationwide. The affordable prices for these prescriptions are available for commonly prescribed dosages for up to 30-days or 90-days.
Launched in Tampa, Florida in September 2006, Wal-Mart’s $4 Prescription Program quickly expanded to 49 states (Wal-Mart does not operate in-store pharmacies in its North Dakota stores). Wal-Mart has also introduced a similar discount program in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil, bringing significant savings to customers in those markets. Today, the program is available at the more than 4,000 Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Neighborhood Market pharmacies throughout the United States and has saved Wal-Mart customers more than $1 billion since its inception ($1,163,726,502.08 as of April 28, 2008 – visit www.livebetterindex.com for a state-by-state breakdown of savings).
Certain drugs are priced higher than $4 (for up to 30-day supplies) and $10 (for 90-day supplies) in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Montana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Generic medications contain the same active ingredients as their “brand-name” counterparts, but cost significantly less. Consumers interested in saving money through the program should ask their doctors if a generic is available for their prescription and is right for them.
For further information on the program, customers can call 1-800-WAL-MART, visit www.walmart.com/pharmacy or discuss the program with their local Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market or Sam’s Club pharmacist.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The Company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.