Driving lower generic drug costs is nothing new for retailers.

October 6th, 2008

Both presidential campaigns are touting their plan for reduction in prescription drug costs as a significant benefit of their platform for change. Retailers have been doing this for years. Come on guys let’s come up with something new.

Both presidential campaigns are touting their plan for reduction in prescription drug costs as a significant benefit of their platform for change. Retailers have been doing this for years. Come on guys let’s come up with something new.

Both presidential campaigns promise to make low cost prescription drug availability a priority of their improvement strategy for health care plans. Neither McCain nor Obama has detailed how they would accomplish this against the largest and most powerful of lobby’s in the capital.

It is no surprise to anyone that prescription drugs are one of the fastest growing health care costs in the United States. We pay the highest prices in the world for brand-name drugs. Retailers have been dealing with this issue for years and unlike our presidential candidates have come up with a variety of strategies and programs in order to save consumers money.

It’s about time that the government caught on to what retailers have already been doing for over two years. In September of 2006, Wal-Mart announced that it would make nearly 300 generic drugs available for only $4 per prescription for up to a 30-day supply at commonly prescribed dosages. The Wal-Mart plan later drove other retailers to create programs of their own. Target, Meijer, Wegmans, Costco and K-Mart and others have announced similar generic plans. The Wal-mart program since its inception has grown to over 1,000 over the counter medications and claims to have saved consumers over $1 billion.

One way retailers have been able to drive down their costs with generic drugs and other over the counter medications, is to hold the drug manufacturers and other distributers accountable by purchasing their generic drugs through the non biased use of reverse auction tools. History indicates that generic drug events can drive savings greater than thirty percent. Events can be held for dozens of suppliers and hundreds of products at one time and left open for days if not weeks in order to collect pricing prior to the final live auction. The fact is that major pharmaceutical companies use these tools regularly in order to drive down their costs.

Let’s see something unique from our presidential candidates. It makes sense to drive down health care costs, but this seems more like the first president Bush thinking UPC scanners installed in most super markets at the time were cool many years after they were invented.

We look forward to your comments.

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