Retail News Breaks
Wal-Mart rolls out free mail delivery for generic Rxs
August 18th, 2009
Many patients can now get discount prescriptions whether or not they live near a Wal-Mart pharmacy.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is now offering free mail delivery for 90-day supplies of certain generic drug prescriptions in states across the Midwest and Northeast.
The retailer on Tuesday said three-month supplies of about 300 generics will be available for $10 each via free mail delivery in 22 states and Washington, D.C., as well as by calling 1-800-2REFILL.
In addition, the free mail delivery program provides access to more than 3,000 other brand-name and generic drugs, enabling customers to fill all their prescriptions via through one program, which is particularly convenient for those who don't live near a Wal-Mart store or Sam's Club pharmacy, according to the company.
Wal-Mart said the rollout of the free mail delivery program follows a May pilot in Michigan. The initiative also builds on the retailer's successful $4 generics program, which the company said has saved customers more than $2 billion on prescriptions since its launch in September 2006.
"With this program, we're able to provide our customers in every rural town or big city across the Midwest and Northeast with more affordable prescription medicines through a convenient, free mail delivery system," John Agwunobi, senior vice president and president of the health and wellness division at Wal-Mart, said in a statement.
States where consumers can access the free mail delivery program include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Wal-Mart recast the pharmacy market three years ago with the launch of the $4 discount generics program, and the free mail delivery discount prescription effort stands to extend its pharmacy reach even farther.
Commenting recently on the Michigan pilot, Ron Chomiuk, vice president of Wal-Mart's health and wellness division, said the retailer is excited about the chance to meet the drug needs of residents who may not live in an area convenient to one of its stores.
The discount giant has 4,150 pharmacies, putting it at No. 4 after CVS Caremark Corp. (6,981), Walgreen Co. (6,892) and Rite Aid Corp. (4,825).
The launch of the free mail delivery pilot followed the announcement that the $4 generics would be accessible to doctors using an Epocrates clinical decision support product online or via a mobile device. Physicians are now better-equipped to help identify lower-cost medication options available for their patients at Wal-Mart pharmacies nationwide.
Wal-Mart's annual pharmacy sales are estimated at $19.6 billion, making it No. 3 behind Walgreen Co. ($39.3 billion) and CVS Caremark Corp. ($33 billion) in pharmacy dollar volume, according to research by Racher Press, publisher of Chain Drug Review.
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