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Where Wal-Mart's $4 Generic Prescription Program Falls Short

Posted Apr 22nd, 2008 by Patient Assistance Team
Low Income? Uninsured? Looking for a way to save on your prescription medication costs? Since September 2006 Wal-Mart has been trying to capture patients just like you with their $4 Generic Prescription Program. With such a low price, it's no wonder that Wal-Mart has been able to increase their reach in that specific market, but the program isn't as beneficial as it would seem.

The medications that Wal-Marts $4 Generic Prescription Program actually covers is less than 1% of all prescription medications out there. Out of the 361 different generic prescription medications that they actually do cover, there are only about 100 different drugs, the rest are simply various doses of that medication.

These prescription medications are also in the lowest co-pay bracket of even the most basic prescription coverage programs available, costing the average insured patient around $5 to fill their medication. But these aren't things that Wal-Mart explains to their customer base when they advertise these programs.

While this program may not be catching on as much as Wal-Mart would surely like it to, the patients that they were created to help are actually the ones losing the most. Few patients simply need the medications covered by Wal-Marts policy, but many have given Wal-Mart their trust and moved all of their prescriptions over before realizing that they would have to pay significantly higher than they would at their previous pharmacy. The prices of brand name medication have been rising, and with this program addressing so few of the generic counterparts, the benefit is next to nothing for even those who are uninsured and have a low income.

It seems like each day more and more individuals realize that there are plenty of options available for those who are uninsured, underinsured, and/or have a low income that don't involve gimmicks like Wal-Marts $4 generic prescription program. Very few patients are switching their prescriptions over to Wal-Mart in an attempt to lower their overall prescription drug cost as solutions such as applying for your prescription medications patient assistance program and registering for a free prescription drug card are becoming more common.

There are a plethora of Patient Assistance Programs that offer prescription assistance through either free or heavily discounted medication to eligible patients. These programs are offered directly through the Pharmaceutical company and are available for nearly every major brand name drug at no cost at all. Also, the free prescription drug card can save you up to 70% off of your generic prescriptions by doing nothing more than going to your regular pharmacy and showing them your free card.

The advantage is that these programs, unlike Wal-Mart's, are aimed to help the patient, not lure them in to the store. Companies like PatientAssistance and CountyRxCard can provide you with access to all available patient assistance programs and allow you to sign up for a prescription drug discount card for no cost whatsoever. So before you wind up falling for a gimmick like that, as there have been many copy-cat programs since Wal-Mart first launched this program, make sure to read up on all the options available to you.