Local pharmacists say Wal-Mart generic drug program is overratedThe list of drugs that is offered is only 300 at this point of time, however, when I looked at the list I saw a lot of the major drugs that I see in the field. Maybe someone cannot get every drug they need, but if they can get one or two drugs a month at $4.00 that will save them money. Every little bit helps.
By Alexis Bacharach Daily News staff writer
Joanne Westberg Milot knows her customers by name. She knows their spouses, children and grandchildren.
When people drop by the pharmacy at Marketime Drugs in Moscow to ask about prescriptions or over-the-counter medication, pharmacist Westberg Milot or one of her technicians is with them in no time.
"I think customer service is really important," she said. "You won't get that quality of care at the big retail chains."
It’s the reason she didn’t worry last month when Wal-Mart announced it was expanding its $4 generic drug program to stores in Idaho and Washington.
In September, Wal-Mart executives announced plans for a prescription drug program as part of an overall campaign to make health care more affordable. The program was launched on a trial basis, offering more than 300 generic prescription medications for $4 at select stores in Florida. Within a month, Wal-Mart had expanded the program to stores in 27 states.
Westberg Milot characterized the program as a marketing scheme aimed at the health care industry's most vulnerable consumers — senior citizens and people who don't have prescription coverage or don't have insurance at all.
"If you look at the medications they're offering in this program, it's a pretty limited list," she said. "I think, in a sense, it's much ado about nothing. ... Look at all the publicity they've gotten from it. You couldn't buy that kind of PR."
Westberg Milot agrees something needs to be done to control prices on prescription drugs. She does not agree, however, that Wal-Mart's drug program is the solution.
The use of the word scheme makes it sounds like Wal-Mart is trying to pull a fast-one on people. Also to make it sounds like WalMart's employees are robots who have no ability to help people or know people. It makes it sound like bigger always means that you will not get service.
It just feels like this article written from a bitter point of view. Rather than taking a point of view that WalMart is at least doing something to help, people instead call it a scheme and that it is not the right solution to drug prices. Funny, I thought that lowering the prices of drugs would be a good solution to high drug prices.
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