$4 Prescription Drugs are Now Available in Texas - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

10/19/06 - East Texas

$4 Prescription Drugs are Now Available in Texas

by Ramonica R. Jones

East Texans looking for less expensive generic prescription drugs now have another option. Wal-Mart is expanding its $4 Generic Prescription Program to Texas - making more than 300 prescribed generic medications available for just $4 each.

Lufkin Wal-Mart Manager, Mike Scott, said, "There's 314 generic prescriptions [in the program] and these medications are commonly prescribed to treat heart disease, infections, viruses, diabetes, colds, and many more [health problems]."

Certain prescribed generic drugs can cost more than a hundred dollars. Now, East Texas customers know they can buy some of those medicines at a discounted price.

Karen White of Huntington said, "My child has asthma, so we have daily treatments four times a day. If there is a generic drug out there that he takes, that would be wonderful to lower the cost."

Antidepressants, beta blockers, high blood pressure treatments, and other commonly prescribed medications are on the list and even more medicines will be added. But some competitors are questioning Wal-Mart's motive for the initiative and reminding consumers Wal-Mart's program may not always give them the best deal.

Still, many East Texas shoppers believe these low drug prices are a big benefit for more than five million Texans who do not have health insurance and cannot usually afford to have their prescriptions filled.

Roberta Carrell of Huntington said, "Children that don't share anything will share germs, and if you have to have an antibiotic to get over something and you can do it for $4 rather than our $20 co-pay, that would save us a lot of money."

The program started last month in Florida, but is now available in 415 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club pharmacies in Texas and 13 other states.

Wal-Mart officials said they launched the program to save working Americans money on health care, but critics call selling some of their prescription drugs for $4 a stunt to attract business and get a bigger share of the drug industry. They also believe the deal for consumers is really not as good as it appears because so few drugs are included.

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