OLD Media Moves

Why did biz media criticize Wal-Mart for $4 drugs?

November 27, 2006

Orange County Register columnist Jon Lansner wonders why Wal-Mart has received so much criticism for its decision to offer $4 generic drugs.

Jon LansnerLansner believes much of the criticism has been misguided.

He wrote, “I can’t recall any other seemingly consumer-friendly move by a U.S. retailer getting such harsh treatment. Usually, price cuts of any sort are cheered – outside of comments from greedy investors who often bemoan discounts that crush stock prices.

“Let’s just say that Wal-Mart’s no media darling. And they’ve probably deserved some of the tough coverage.

“Previous transgressions aside, what’s not to love with any company who’s messing with a less than loved industry, the pharmaceutical crowd?

“But some reporters seemingly worked real hard to find supposed critics of the four-buck drug deals. Funny how most of these critics make money by charging more than four bucks for drugs.

“Like Richard Stevens of the West Virginia Pharmacists Association. He told the Charleston Daily Mail: ‘I’m not implying Wal-Mart dispenses outdated medicine. … But the older medications won’t do the job that some of the newer ones can.’

“Richard, your own members dispense the same pills – albeit at a higher price. I assume they’re doubly wrong?

“Or an oft repeated public statement from the National Community Pharmacists Association trade group’s Bruce Roberts. ‘If you look at the list of medications they are offering for $4, it represents about 1 percent of the total number of drugs available,’ he said.”

Read more here.

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