U.S. retailer Wal-Mart announced earlier this month that it is expanding its low-cost generic drug program. Previously, one-month supplies of various drugs could be purchased for $4. Now, 90-day supplies will also be available for $10.

Being generic, the included arthritis and pain medications are not the newest treatments available. But they are also not nearly as expensive.

The current list of “Arthritis / Pain” medications offered in the program includes:

  • allopurinol   100mg
  • allopurinol   300mg
  • baclofen   10mg
  • colchicine   0.6mg
  • cyclobenzaprine   5mg
  • cyclobenzaprine   10mg
  • dexamethasone   0.5mg
  • dexamethasone   0.75mg
  • dexamethasone   4mg
  • diclofenac dr   75mg
  • ibuprofen   100mg / suspension   5mL
  • ibuprofen   400mg
  • ibuprofen   600mg
  • ibuprofen   800mg
  • indomethacin   25mg
  • meloxicam   7.5mg
  • meloxicam   15mg
  • naproxen   375mg
  • naproxen   500mg
  • piroxicam   20mg
  • salsalate   500mg

Our own Seth Ginsberg noted the inlusion of meloxicam. In the past, a 90-day supply cost him $150. Now it costs 93 percent less.

The list also includes suspension Ibuprofen, a popular pain management tool for children.

Wal-Mart Senior Vice President John Agwunobi explained to the Associated Press (AP) that the expansion “was designed to help customers at a time of exorbitant health-care costs and difficult economic times.” It has also increased traffic in the chain’s pharmacies, as noted by industry analysts.

Wal-Mart’s pricing program applies to its mail-order and online pharmacy stores, as well as all in-store Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market, and Sam’s Club pharmacies (except in North Dakota, where the pharmacies are run by third parties).

Soon after the announcement, Target — the nation’s second-largest retailer — told the Wall Street Journal that it would “match all facets of Wal-Mart’s discounted generic drug and [over the counter] drug plans.”

To read the AP article announcing the price drop, a full listing of included drugs, or medicalnewstoday.com’s report, click on one of the links below:

Article References
Wal-Mart expands low-price drug program; Target follows, site accessed on 05/19/08

Wal-Mart Pharmacy: $4 Presciptions Program, site accessed on 05/19/08

Wal-Mart Generic Drug Program To Begin Offering 90-Day Supplies, site accessed on 05/19/08