Wal-Mart Expands Generic Drug Program

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has extended its $4 generic-drug promotion to include 11 more states, bringing the total coverage of the program to more than 3,000 stores in 38 states. The company hopes to include all 50 states by early next year.

“We’ve received an amazing amount of positive feedback from the millions of seniors, working families, and uninsured who are already taking advantage of this program,” said Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott.

Beginning today, an additional 502 stores have been added to the program, including outlets in Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia. The company also announced that they’ve added 17 more prescriptions to the program as well, for a grand total of 331 prescriptions and 143 medications–including 14 of the 20 most popular drugs in the country.

Under the terms of the program, consumers are eligible for a 30-day supply of generic drugs at the $4 rate. The program was initially rolled out in Florida in September.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), which represents the owners of more than 24,000 independent pharmacies, said last month that Wal-Mart’s program was a “PR stunt” that would “provide minimal benefit to most patients because of the very limited number of medications included.” The NCPA also added that the giant chain’s program doesn’t always offer the most appropriate, safe, or effective treatment options because of its restricted choice of generic drugs.

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