Independent Pharmacists React To Big Chains 4 Dollar Generic Prescriptions - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/20/06-Tyler

Independent Pharmacists React To Big Chains 4 Dollar Generic Prescriptions

Wal-Mart is no longer the only company offering generic prescriptions at the low price of 4 dollars. Target followed suit today with their 4 dollar generic drug program. But that seems to be the end of this copycat trail. In fact, local pharmacists we spoke with today say they're a little skeptical about the whole deal.

"It's really more of a marketing ploy then anything else," says Don Meyers, Pharmacists & owner of Craig Pharmacy.

Pharmacist Don Meyers has owned Craig's Pharmacy for more than a dozen years. He says Wal-Mart is only providing the older type medicines which are less frequently used.  And it's only a small number of prescription drugs, getting the low 4 dollar price tag.

"Of the 9,000 generics available only 300 are covered.  And of the 300 covered only there are only 150 different drugs.  There are different dosages of the drugs that they consider different drugs," says Meyers.

Meyers says the 4 dollar cost is just a way to get you in the doors. Pharmacist John Stephenson owner of Stephenson Pharmacy agrees.

"They will lose money on the overhead but they are trying to get the people in there store.  They will make up for it somewhere else, Wal-Mart is not losing money," says John Stephenson, Pharmacists & owner of Stephenson Pharmacy.

Kevin Gardner a spokesperson with Wal-Mart told us, "With this program, we are the customers' advocate in controlling healthcare costs.... The entire healthcare system benefits from this program. Misstatements about our program seem to be coming from critics who only want to preserve the status quo... and high drug prices."

Both Meyers and Stephenson say there is more than just price involved in the medications.

"There is the counseling, the availability of the pharmacist, the delivery that other pharmacies offer.  There is a lot more than the net cost of the prescription when you walk in the door," says Meyers.

Karolyn Davis, reporting.  kdavis@kltv.com

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