Prescribers Now Have Access to Low-Price Generic Options, Helping Consumers Save Money on Prescriptions
BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 19, 2009 – Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) today announced its list of up to 350 prescriptions on its $4 generic drug program will now be accessible to physicians using an Epocrates clinical decision support product online or via a mobile device. Physicians will now be better equipped to help identify lower cost medication options available for their patients at Walmart, Neighborhood Market and Sam’s Club pharmacies nationwide.
“Since launching our $4 prescription program in 2006, we've saved our customers and the health care system more than $1.5 billion dollars on their prescriptions,” said Dr. John Agwunobi, senior vice president and president of Walmart’s health and wellness division. “We realized that by giving Epocrates’ large network of prescribers electronic access to the $4 generic prescription drug list, we can increase awareness of the program and help even more consumers gain access to affordable prescriptions.”
At Walmart, Neighborhood Market and Sam’s Club pharmacies nationwide, customers can get up to a 30-day supply of up to 350 generic prescriptions for only $4 and a 90-day supply for $10.* Now, before writing a prescription, physicians can quickly check and compare the Walmart drug list using Epocrates to see if a less expensive alternative is available. If there are other options, patients taking chronic medications for diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, could receive significant monthly savings. And for convenience and accuracy, all Walmart pharmacies are equipped to accept electronic prescriptions, allowing the physician to submit a prescription right from a mobile device or desktop computer.
“We recognize that many of our physician subscribers want to prescribe the most cost effective medication for their patients, and need quick access to drug lists to do so,” said Jeff Tangney, executive vice president of sales and marketing and co-founder of Epocrates. “We currently provide this support by electronically hosting insurance coverage information for more than 120 national and regional health plans, plus all Medicare Part D formularies. By working with Walmart to add its $4 generic prescription list, our subscribers now have access to even more affordable prescription options.”
Beyond checking for health plan coverage of a drug, physicians can now see if their patients’ new or existing prescription is available for $4 at Walmart, Neighborhood Market or Sam’s Club pharmacies.
In a recent Epocrates survey, the majority of the 700 physician respondents expressed some level of concern that their patients were not complying with their prescription due to the economic climate. Patients are looking for more affordable medication options, with more than half of respondents writing more prescriptions for generic medications in 2008 compared to 2007.
“More patients are expressing concern about drug costs than ever before, and some are not filling expensive prescriptions,” said Dr. Mike Tierney of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “By having access to Walmart’s $4 list in Epocrates, I can suggest a lower cost alternative before patients even reach the pharmacy. I already use Epocrates to ensure drug safety, so it will be easy to discuss potential savings for them as well.”
Epocrates’ free drug and formulary guide is available online or for download to mobile devices, including iPhone™, BlackBerry®, Windows Mobile®, or Palm® devices. More than one in four U.S. physicians use the software to reference drug information, such as health plan coverage, adverse reactions, dosing and interactions with other therapies. Further information on the $4 prescription program is available at Walmart.com/pharmacy or Epocrates.com/products.
* Restrictions apply. See Walmart.com or your Walmart pharmacist for details.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Walmart operates Walmart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom and, through a joint venture, in India. The Company's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.
About Epocrates, Inc.
Epocrates is a leading provider of clinical information and decision support tools to healthcare professionals. Epocrates currently has more than 500,000 active subscribers worldwide, including more than one in four U.S. physicians and more than one in three U.S. medical students. The company’s subscription-based services enable healthcare professionals to make more informed medical decisions, reduce medical errors and practice more efficiently. For more information about Epocrates, please visit http://www.epocrates.com/company.