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Exposed: Walmart Drug Plan

Wal-Mart PR Stunt Goes Nationwide; 99 Percent of Drugs Not Covered by Program

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 19 /U.S. Newswire/ — The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today said Wal-Mart’s widely publicized generic drug program will provide minimal benefit to most patients because of the very limited number of medications included on the list of drugs that are covered. The company announced that it will begin offering a very limited number of generic medications for $4 in 14 additional states starting today. Wal-Mart launched the campaign in Florida last month. “If you look at the list of medications they are offering for $4, it represents about one percent of the total number of drugs available,” said NCPA Executive Vice President and CEO Bruce Roberts, RPh. “The question people should be asking Wal-Mart is, ‘What will you be charging for the other 99 percent of the medications that people need?'”

There are more than 11,000 drugs listed by the Food and Drug Administration, and while the Wal-Mart program claims to offer more than 300 medicines, its list actually includes fewer than 150 different drugs.

— For example, 12 different versions of the antibiotic amoxicillin are included on the list.

— Many older medications are on the list, and newer, replacement medications that often work better or have fewer side effects are not included.

“Wal-Mart’s original list included none of the generic statins used to treat high cholesterol,” Roberts said. “After much criticism, the company added the oldest one with the worst profile for side effects. Patients deserve good care. Instead they are being used by Wal-Mart just to drive traffic to their stores.”

The impact of Wal-Mart’s program also raises concerns about patient safety and the professional counseling role of pharmacists.

“We have tremendous respect for the power of prescription medications and the lifesaving-or if used incorrectly, life- threatening-power they possess,” Roberts said. “NCPA hopes that Wal-Mart pharmacists will be given the time to adequately counsel all of their patients about all of their prescription medicines.”

NCPA also is examining any anti-competitive aspects of Wal- Mart’s action. Wal-Mart is known for driving small-town businesses out of business through deceptive and predatory pricing practices and then raising prices on prescription drugs and other health-related products.

“Prescription medicines are not a commodity like T-shirts and DVDs,” Roberts said. “Community pharmacists are in the health care business and provide a value to patients no matter what medications they are taking. We are concerned that patients will be both misled and disappointed by the limited number of medicines in this new program.”

—–

The National Community Pharmacists Association, founded in 1898, represents the nation’s community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 24,000 pharmacies. The nation’s independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains dispense nearly half of the nation’s retail prescription medicines.

___________________________________

Editor’s note:  this book is a good place to start if you want to know more about Walmart.  Click here to learn more about this book.

Publisher Comments:  An award-winning journalist breaks through the wall of secrecy to reveal the many astonishing ways Wal-Mart’s power affects our lives and reaches all around the world.   The Wal-Mart Effect: The overwhelming impact of the world’s largest company–due to its relentless pursuit of low prices–on retailers and manufacturers, wages and jobs, the culture of shopping, the shape of our communities, and the environment; a global force of unprecedented nature. Wal-Mart is not only the world’s largest company; it is also the largest company in the history of the world. Americans spend $26 million every hour at Wal-Mart, twenty-four hours of every day, every day of the year. Is the company a good thing or a bad thing? On the one hand, market guru Warren Buffett estimates that the company’s low prices save American consumers $10 billion a year. On the other, the behemoth is the #1 employer in thirty-seven of the fifty states yet has never let a union in the door.   Click here to learn more about this book.

3 Responses

  1. There are other shortcomings of the Wal-Mart plan: situations in which the patient doesn’t get a full 30-day supply, and requirement of picking up the prescription in person. For more details on why the program might not be all that it seems, visit my blog.

  2. […] ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 19 /U.S. Newswire/ — The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today said Wal-Mart’s widely publicized generic drug program will provide minimal benefit to most patients because of the very limited number of medications included on the list of drugs that are covered. The company announced that it will begin offering a very limited number of generic medications for $4 in 14 additional states starting t … Posted by wildersideVery interesting.Link to original article […]

  3. I just came from wal-mart, my thirty day supply that is on the drug list for 4 dollars just cost me 40.00. for a thirty day supply. I take 10 of this pills a day. they told me there program was for 30 pills a month for 4 dollars. I didn’ read that anywhere on the internet, in the newspaper, or on the tv news. I got ripped off.

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