Walmart to sell hypertension drugs for 1 cent

Program offered under Walmart-Humana Medicare plan

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Members of a prescription drug program offered by Humana to Medicare beneficiaries will soon be able to obtain hypertension drugs from Walmart for a penny.

That's right: $0.01.

Walmart and Humana said that starting in 2013, members of the Humana-Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan would have access to 10 drugs for high blood pressure for 1 cent each when filled at a Walmart or Sam's Club store. The companies said the price meant members would pay that much for them through all phases of their benefit, regardless of whether they have met their deductibles or are in the coverage gap.

"We are committed to making pharmaceuticals more affordable so our customers can ultimately live healthier lives," Walmart health and wellness division president John Agwunobi said. "The Humana-Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan will help eliminate out-of-pocket costs for high blood pressure treatments so more patients can follow the regimen prescribed by their physicians."

The drugs offered under the program are lisinopril, hydrochlorothiazide, metoprolol tartrate, atenolol, lisinopril-hydrochlorothiazide, triamterene-hydrochlorothiazide, enalapril maleate, benazepril, nadolol and captopril.

"A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that close to 70% of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older have hypertension," Humana Pharmacy Solutions president William Fleming said, citing a CDC National Center for Health Statistics study released in May. "This statistic underscores the importance of offering affordable, high-quality prescription drugs to baby boomers and other beneficiaries as part of the Humana-Walmart Preferred Rx Plan."

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- 10:21 AM says

Are there no State and Federal laws to prohibit a pharmacy from selling prescription medicines below their cost? I thought there were to keep large corporations, like Walmart, from running independents out of business.

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