Wal-Mart Shakes Up Prescription Drug Prices

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With a slogans such as, "Always Low Prices, Always," Wal-Mart is trying to stick true to its word.

The corporate giant has launched a $4 generic drug program across the nation.

"We can do it for $4 because of our system," said Bill Simon of Wal-Mart. "Our strength is, frankly, our ability to buy product, move it well, distribute it efficiently, and our business model passes those savings on to customers.

The program offers more than 300 generic drugs to consumers for some of the most commonly diagnosed illnesses, but it begs the question: how will other pharmacies compete?

"Community pharmacists provide a valuable service but they charge for that service. People who have had to worry about price, have been locked out of the equation, and many many of them haven't been able to fill their prescriptions," said Simon. "This provides people with cost as an issue an very viable option."

The Pharmacy Shop is one local pharmacy which believes the services and prices they offer are competitive with the superstore. However, they say their focus is on their customer.

"We, as professionals and part of the health care team, have to remember where our primary focus is, and that's on the patient," said Judi Henneke, the owner and pharmacist at The Pharmacy Shop. "So here at the pharmacy, we can concentrate basically on the patient customer service."

The Pharmacy Shop said in addition to the normal pharmacy services it offers, they also deliver medications to the elderly and set up medication regimens for customers when needed in their homes.

All of these services are done free of charge.

"We offer extra services, but that's not to say if we can, if we are in the competitive market, that we can drop the price and still offer our other services," said Henneke. "Then, yes, we will be happy to compete with the marketplace."