Thursday, September 21, 2006

Walmart to sell $4 generic drugs.

Bidness: I love Walmart and screw all those anti-capitalist union backed lackeys.

NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart plans to begin selling nearly 300 generic prescription drugs for a sharply reduced price, offering a big lure for bargain-seeking customers and presenting a challenge to competing pharmacy chains. The world's biggest retailer said Thursday that it will test its sales program, in which 291 generic drugs will be sold at $4 for a month's supply, in Florida. The drugs involved provide treatments for conditions ranging from allergies to high-blood pressure. Selling generic drugs at prices that don't offer much if any margin for profit could serve two purposes for Wal-Mart: It could draw customers away from big pharmacy chains to Wal-Mart stores that offer a much wider array of products, and it could help Wal-Mart with an image problem stemming from its policies on health insurance for employees. ``We're able to do this by using one of our greatest strengths as a company _ our business model and our ability to drive costs out of the system, and the model that passes those costs savings to our customers,'' Bill Simon, executive vice president of the company's professional services division, said in announcing the plan at a Tampa, Fla., store. ``In this case were applying that business model to health care.'' Wal-Mart Stores Inc. officials said the reduced price represents a savings to the customer of up to 70 percent on some drugs. The average monthly cost for a generic drug prescription is $28.74, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. For branded drugs, that figure is $96.01. Critics said the plan was a cover for Wal-Mart's failure to provide its employees adequate health care. They contend that the company's benefits are too stingy, forcing taxpayers to absorb more of the cost as the workers lacking coverage turn to state-funded health care programs. The program will be launched on Friday at 65 Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market and Sams' Club pharmacies in the Tampa Bay area and will be expanded to the entire state in January. Simon wouldn't be specific about why Florida and specifically the Tampa Bay area was chosen for the rollout of the initiative, saying only that there was a need for it here.
I would guess its because Tampa is known as God's waiting room in the state for a reason. As for the critics, screw them. I have never understood this idiotic notion that any company has to pay for your health care, big or small. No one is forced to work at Walmart. Don't like the benefits, get a another job. Here is the list of drugs so far that will go for $4. Its a great business move because despite low profit from the drugs, it means more people to shop at their stores.

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