Wal-Mart Plans to Reduce Prices for Generic Drugs

SEPTEMBER 21, 2006 - Posted at 4:22 p.m. CDT

BENTONVILLE, AR - Wal-Mart says it will begin a test program of selling nearly 300 generic prescription drugs for $4 each.

The world's biggest retailer said today that it will test its sales program, in which 291 generic drugs will be offered in Florida.  The drugs involved provide treatments for conditions ranging from allergies to high blood pressure.

Selling generic drugs at prices that don't offer much if any margin for profit could serve two purposes for Wal-Mart.  The move could draw customers away from big pharmacy chains to Wal-Mart stores that offer a much wider array of products.  And it could help Wal-Mart with an image problem stemming from its policies on health insurance for employees.

The program will be launched on Friday at 65 Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market and Sam's Club pharmacies in the Tampa Bay area and will be expanded to the entire state in January.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)