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Wal-Mart Launches 'Phase Three' of $4 Prescription Program

:Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said yesterday it's expanding the discount prescription plan that many grocers have replicated over the last few years. Phase three of Wal-Mart's $4 Prescription Program, which was initially launched in Tampa, Fla. in September 2006, will cover a 90-day prescription for $10, additional women's health medications, and a new $4 over-the-counter (OTC) offer.

Wal-Mart said the 90-day option gives more choices to customers and physicians who may have been limited to mail-order prescriptions in the past.

"More and more people find health care, and particularly prescribed medicines, difficult to afford," said John Agwunobi, Wal-Mart s.v.p. and president, health and wellness, in a statement. "This is one of the reasons we continually work to take our $4 Prescription Program to the next level. We're succeeding in our efforts to deliver simple, affordable, quality pharmacy solutions for families struggling with the rising costs of health care. And our customers -- and their budgets -- are seeing a dramatic difference."

Beginning yesterday, Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market, and Sam's Club pharmacies are filling prescriptions for up to 350 generic medications at $10 for a 90-day supply.

Expanding on the women's medicines added to Wal-Mart's prescription program in September 2007, Alendronate, the recently introduced generic version of Fosamax, used to treat osteoporosis, is now available at Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market, and Sam's Club pharmacies for $9 for up to a 30-day supply or $24 for a 90-day supply. In addition, medications to treat breast cancer (tamoxifen), menopause, and hormone deficiency (combination estrogen/methyltestosterone tablets) were added to the growing list of $9 women's medications. Combined, Wal-Mart estimates that this expansion alone will save women more than $100 million annually.

Also yesterday, Wal-Mart Stores and Neighborhood Markets began a new $4 OTC program, offering customers more than 1,000 OTC items priced at $4 or less without a prescription. Wal-Mart said it has rolled back prices on key OTC items to ensure that almost one-third of its OTC medicines are now $4 or lower.

Launched in September 2006, Wal-Mart's $4 Prescription Program quickly expanded to 49 states (Wal-Mart does not operate in-store pharmacies in its North Dakota stores). Wal-Mart has also introduced a similar discount program in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Brazil.
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