HEB Counters Wal-Mart Plan with $5 Generic Drug Program

SAN ANTONIO - H.E. Butt Grocery Co. here is already prepared with a counter attack to Wal-Mart's new $4 generic drug program. The regional operator is rolling out a new initiative via a loyalty card program to help make healthcare more affordable.

Beginning Oct. 25, customers can begin signing up for the "My H-E-B Pharmacy Rewards" card, which will offer 500 generic drugs for just $5 in all HEB pharmacies, plus savings on all other brand and generic drugs. The drugs being offered at the $5 price are those that address the most prevalent disease states in Texas, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and others.
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Customers who sign-up for the card will enjoy savings up to 50 percent on all brand and generic prescription drugs, as well as savings and special offers throughout the entire store. RX Rewards members will also enjoy priority scheduling for HEB Pharmacy services and access to free health screenings and educational information via mail and e-mail. In addition, cardholders will receive a free copy of HEB's healthy living magazine, "H-E-B goodness!" mailed directly to their homes.

"Through this program, HEB aims to offer great prices on the prescription drugs most relevant to Texans, and to help families deal with rising healthcare costs," said Winell Herron, HEB group v.p. of public affairs and diversity, in a statement.

HEB is already involved in the "Building Healthy Families" program with the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Health and Human Service's Commission to build healthy children. Through the new rewards card, HEB will continue to roll out new health-related services that it said will bring additional value to its customers.

On Oct. 19, Wal-Mart said it was expanding its drug program, which features prescriptions for 143 generic drugs for $4, to an additional 1,264 stores in the states of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Vermont. The program was first tested in Florida.
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