Wegmans launches program to lower cost of generics

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Wegmans on Wednesday announced a new program that will lower the cost of nearly 390 select generic maintenance drugs and those used to treat acute conditions. The list is made up of the most-commonly prescribed generic prescription drugs filled at Wegmans, the retailer stated.

"We started by lowering food prices in November, and then began to look at other ways we could lower costs for customers and employees,” stated Colleen Wegman, Wegman’s president. “Free antibiotic prescriptions followed in early January,” she said. "It has confirmed what we’ve always known. If we approach everything by doing what’s right for our employees and customers, it is also good for our business."

But more than saving money for its customers, expanding prescription savings programs in this economy prevents pharmacy share erosion.

"When a patient feels they must shop around for lower prices, we risk sacrificing the data that shows all of the prescribed drugs for that person," stated John Carlo, Wegmans’ VP pharmacy. "It’s vital that we have a complete patient profile for every customer in order to identify drug interactions. We don’t want to give our patients a reason to use another pharmacy."

The most-significant savings from this program will go to the people who need it most:  the uninsured who pay cash for prescriptions; those who have experienced a change in health care coverage; and the unemployed or uninsured who may not be filling their prescriptions. Consumers with prescription insurance coverage will see an immediate reduction in the amount of their co-pay.

Wegmans expects this to impact approximately 3.6 million new and refilled prescriptions annually. The total estimated savings for employees, customers, insurers, self-insured employer groups, and federal and state programs, like Medicare, Medicaid or EPIC in New York State, will exceed $15 million, according to the company. "It was stunning to realize the impact this program alone will have on health care costs in the communities where we have stores," Wegman said.

The new prices go into effect March 1. A 30-day supply of the listed drugs will now cost $4.00.  A 90-day supply will cost $10.  The complete list will be available on wegmans.com.

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