Winn-Dixie adds generic form of Plavix to generics prescription program
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Winn-Dixie announced the generic form of Plavix (clopidogrel) now is available for $4 for 30-day and $10 for 90-day prescriptions as part of the company’s prescription savings program.
Winn-Dixie recently launched a prescription savings program in all of its pharmacies that offers deep discounts on more than 400 generic medications and varied discounts on branded and other generic medication.
"The generic form of Plavix (clopidogrel) just recently released in market, providing customers with initial savings over the brand equivalent," stated John Fegan, VP of pharmacy for Winn-Dixie. "This prescription is a highly requested medication from our customers, so we are especially pleased to offer an even deeper discount that allows customers to focus on what is important — their health."
For an annual enrollment fee of $5, customers with an active Winn-Dixie reward card immediately will begin receiving program benefits, including:
A $5 store coupon automatically loaded to the customer’s reward card;
$4, 30-day and $10, 90-day generic drug pricing on a list of more than 400 generic drugs, plus discounts on branded and all other generic drugs; and
Ongoing promotions and specials.
The program runs through the grocer’s existing free reward card program. Customers with or without a reward card can sign up for the prescription program quickly and easily at their local Winn-Dixie customer service counter.
Sam’s Club to host children’s health screenings
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club is set to host free children’s health screenings on Aug. 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at all locations with a pharmacy.
The following health and safety tools will be distributed at Sam’s Clubs nationwide free of charge and while supplies last:
DNA and fingerprint kits;
Take-home DNA swabs include instructions on collecting and storing a saliva sample (Sam’s Club or Walmart stores has no access to this information or where the information will be stored) to help protect children in the event they are ever lost;
Sesame Street’s "Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me" kits;
Sesame Street’s take-home multimedia dental care kits teach children about oral health and will be available in both English and Spanish;
Body mass index and blood pressure tests for children and adults (BMI and blood pressure tests will be limited to the first 50 participants at each club location); and
Vision screenings to determine potential eye care needs.
"Reinforcing healthy habits for children is an important part of back-to-school planning, and Sam’s Club is proud to help parents accomplish this responsibility for the second year in a row," Sam’s Club SVP health and wellness Jill Turner-Mitchael said. "We have provided 1.4 million free health screenings in the past year and a half, and we remain committed to providing quality health solutions for the entire family."
A cool trillion in generic savings: Are the feds taking full advantage?
A cool trillion dollars. That’s what the generic industry said U.S. patients and public and private health plan payers have saved over the last decade by switching from branded to generic prescription drugs at pharmacy counters.
Looked at another way, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association trumpeted in a study released last Thursday that me-too medicines saved a half-billion dollars a day between 2002 and 2011.
It’s an impressive number, but the savings would have been even greater for taxpayers and empty federal and state coffers if the dysfunctional pharmacy reimbursement systems for Medicare and Medicaid truly focused on saving money. Ditto for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that launched health reform but didn’t create enough incentives for pharmacists to substitute lower-cost generics where available.
Policy-makers are conflicted. Such federal health programs as Medicare and Medicaid — along with overburdened employers and other private health plan sponsors — are grappling with an inexorable and unsustainable rise in costs for health services, including pharmaceuticals. But proposals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Congress and other regulatory and legislative bodies for overhauling the payment system for those federal and state health programs fail to take full advantage of the cost-saving potential of generics and in some cases come near to discouraging pharmacists from making the effort to shift patients to cost-effective alternatives.
Pressure to do so will only grow as the nation’s health budget continues to spiral out of control, payers demand solutions, patients squawk about rising co-pays and more and more branded drugs fall off the patent cliff. Those and other market forces are likely to sustain the long-running generic tide for years to come.
What do you think? Is CMS still missing the mark with its average manufacturer price-based formula for prescription reimbursements? Or is it dangerous to discourage branded manufacturers from continuing to develop a pipeline of new, expensive-to-produce medicines, either via traditional research and development methods or bioengineering?