Health-care is a growing problem around the world, and is currently a very hot topic in the U.S. Prescription costs, health-care benefits, and insurance companies are constantly being debated about in public and in private. Many people are feeling the pinch as more diseases are diagnosed, more drugs are prescribed, and more costs are incurred.
Prescription drug prices are one of the biggest concerns in the general argument, with many patients being unable to afford the ultimate bill. This is why big names in pharmaceuticals are constantly being watched for better deals. Two giants in this industry are "CVS" and "Wal-Mart" pharmacies, and they are currently, directly competing for customers.
If someone is lucky enough to have some form of health insurance, the difference between stores can be very minimal. The co-pay and overall insurance will determine the actual cost of the prescription. However, if someone isn't lucky enough to have coverage, there can be real differences.
Most people assume that all prescription drug prices are the same, and remain standard from store to store. However, this can be a costly mistake to make, because prices really can differ. It might depend on the particular prescription being filled, but generally, there are some places to buy pharmaceuticals that are better than others.
But, there cannot be a side to side comparison made of exact prescription cost and companies, due to the many assorted products, constantly fluctuating market and possible special considerations that can effect pricing, like insurance or Medicaid.
When looking at "CVS", remember it's a slightly smaller company that makes its profit solely from the sale of pharmaceuticals and drug store related items. "Wal-mart" is a much bigger chain, with many more money-making branches. So when it comes down to just basic deals or special sales, "Wal-Mart" can afford to pull off a bigger discount than "CVS".
"Wal-Mart" has already displayed it's discount power by offering a general $4 U.S. price for a 30-day supply of over 360 common generic prescriptions, saving a huge amount of money for shoppers. The womens health category also offers additional $9 U.S. prescriptions for a 30 day supply. These prices don't involve any insurance or government aid, so the cost really is just that low.
"CVS" has yet to come up with any deal that contains such a blanket discount. The company claims that since the cheap prescriptions at "Wal-Mart" are older patents, meaning old-fashion prescriptions, that the discount isn't all that useful. This hasn't stopped many people from moving to "Wal-mart" for basics like heart medication or cough syrup though.
"Wal-Mart" is also able to stock a larger generic line of prescriptions than "CVS", due to it's pull with suppliers and efficient, low-cost distribution methods. Current markets seem to indicate that "Wal-Mart" will help in lowering prescription costs with its new pharmacies, the same way it lowered grocery costs with its popular super-centers.
So in the end, you are more likely to find the slightly better deal at "Wal-Mart" than at "CVS". Even if the saving is only enough to buy two gallons of gas, that two gallons of gas in your tank! With "Wal-Marts" new drive-thru pharmacies, easy speed-pay cards, and convenient front-door access, it seems they will only continue their rise in the pharmaceutical industry.