Walmart’s generic drug pricing innovation

The blog has followed the trend of blockbluster prescription drugs that have lost their patent protection, such as Merck’s Zocor and Pfizer’s Zoloft. The leading discount store chain Walmart announced today that

Its pharmacies will make nearly 300 generic drugs available for only $4 per prescription for up to a 30-day supply at commonly prescribed dosages. The program, to be launched on Friday [Sept. 22], will be available to customers and associates of the 65 Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market and Sam’s Club pharmacies in Tampa Bay, Fla. area, and will be expanded to the entire state in January 2007 [and to as many states as possible next year].

The program is available to all customers, whether insured or uninsured. On average, generic drugs cost consumers $10 to $30 for a month’s supply. The announcement caused drug wholesalers and drugstore company stock prices to fall.