Wal-Mart drug prices

05 May: Wal-Mart to PBMs: You’re going down!

As readers of this blog know, we’ve been following the battle between Wal-Mart and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) with interest over the past couple of months. To me, it’s a superb business story that just isn’t getting the coverage it deserves. Already, we’ve seen lots of intrigue and strategy on display; it’s like a great chess match. Not only that, but all of those who receive prescription drug benefits through their employers will be affected by the outcome of this fight. Here’s a quick overview of what’s happened so far: 1. Wal-Mart introduced its $4 generic drug program and has hyped it heavily, increasing the retailer’s power to influence the retail drug market. 2. PBMs like Express Scripts and MedCo…

03 Oct: The Wal-Mart effect

Even though pharmacy giants like CVS and Walgreens have denied that Wal-Mart’s $4 drug plan has affected sales, Walgreens stock has slumped by 15 percent, and the chain has announced lower-than-expected third quarter earnings. According to Peter Rost at Brandweek NRX, weaker margins on generic drugs were the reason for the slump. Peter also says that Wal-Mart has “just started wreaking havoc in the drug market. Target and others followed. Nothing will be the same. Watch as the old stalwarts try to keep prices high, until they finally bite the dust.” Wal-Mart said Sept. 27 it would increase the number of generic medications covered by its plan to 361.