Bringing Solutions to Our Customers
We’ve also tried to take our understanding of supply chain technologies and efficiencies and apply it in a way that brings solutions to the consumer marketplace. In 2006, we introduced $4 generic prescription medications. In September 2007, we announced that we added 24 new generic prescriptions, and three $9 prescriptions. Today, at any Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club or Neighborhood Market Pharmacy in the United States, customers can obtain a 30-day supply of 361 commonly prescribed medicines at affordable prices. Through the program, we estimate we’ve saved our customers more than $610 million in health care costs – essentially removing an estimated $610 million in unnecessary spending from the health care system. In addition, nearly 30 percent of the $4 prescriptions that are filled in our pharmacies are done so without insurance.
Because of its success in the United States, we’ve started launching the affordable generic prescription program in other markets as well, including Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil.
To help customers obtain convenient and affordable basic care services, we’ve also introduced retail clinics by leasing space in our stores across the country to more than 75 independent health clinics. Staffed by medical professionals, the in-store clinics provide preventative care and basic health care treatment to walk-in visitors for as little as $40. The clinics have emerged as a valuable resource to Americans without health insurance. In fact, nearly 50 percent of all clinic patients stated they were uninsured. They also alleviate pressure on the overall health care system. Approximately 15 to 20 percent of clinic customers surveyed said they would have used an emergency room had the clinic in Wal-Mart not been available, while another 10 to 15 percent would have gone without treatment entirely, potentially leading to more serious complications.
Over the next two to three years, we intend to partner with local hospitals to open as many as 400 additional clinics in our stores. And we believe that over the next five to seven years there is room for 2,000 clinics in Wal-Mart stores, if current consumer and market forces continue.
Better Health Care Together Coalition Principles:
- We believe every person in America must have quality, affordable health insurance coverage.
- We believe individuals have a responsibility to maintain and protect their health.
- We believe that America must dramatically improve the value it receives for every health care dollar.
- We believe that businesses, governments and individuals all should contribute to managing and financing a new American health care system.