How Walmart is helping doctors save more by offering pharmacy benefits
Wal-Mart pharmacy benefits are offering pharmacy savings at a discount on the company’s prices, according to a new study by the Center for Health Policy Research.
The savings are a way for pharmacy benefit plans to help doctors get the most bang for their buck when they’re spending time with patients.
The study analyzed pharmacy benefit contracts in 15 states and analyzed data from the American Pharmacists Association (APA) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
The study’s authors, Dr. Robert Schulze and Dr. Thomas E. Miller, say the savings are the result of Walmart’s “continuous innovation.”
“We’re constantly innovating and looking at the data to find ways to improve benefits for patients,” Schulzes said in an interview with CNBC.
The company has made similar savings in recent years.
In 2017, Wal-Marts pharmacy benefits saw a 10 percent discount on average, compared to 2016, when the discount was 10.7 percent.
The benefits were only available for a limited time, so the study authors say Wal-mart may be offering discounts at other times, too.
The benefit cuts are part of Walmart CEO Doug McMillon’s efforts to get the company to adopt a more cost-effective approach to pharmacy benefits, which he believes is key to lowering prices.
“The best way to help our customers is to be competitive and we have to keep it simple,” McMillon said in a statement.
Wal-marts pharmacy benefit cuts aren’t the only way Wal-mans pharmacy benefits have increased.
In addition to cutting costs, the company has also added a number of benefits to the pharmacy benefits offered by its competitors.
Walmart offers a number a “deductions” that help customers pay for their prescriptions.
They range from $15 per prescription for drugs such as acetaminophen to $50 for generic versions of the same medication.
They can be a way to get discounts at pharmacies.
In 2018, Walmarts discounts on generic versions were cut to $25.
But Wal-amills pharmacy benefits also increased in 2018, thanks to the company implementing “exchange rate” discounts for a number generic versions.
These discounts are meant to help lower the cost of generic versions and to encourage generic drugstores to offer generic versions at a lower price.
In many cases, the discount is meant to be applied to a discount at a pharmacy’s website, where a generic version of the drug is typically offered at a much lower price than the original version.
Walmalls pharmacy benefit reductions are just one of many ways the company is pushing back against competition from generic drugmakers.
Last year, Walmart said it would sell generic versions only at pharmacies, and it’s also expanding its generic drug supply.
Walms new policy was welcomed by the American Medical Association (AMA), which said Wal-merchants policy is “a step in the right direction” and a step toward competition.
The AMA’s chief medical officer, Dr, Robert Wood, also praised Wal-marches pharmacy benefits.
“This is another positive step in our efforts to ensure the most affordable and effective access to the medicines we need,” Wood said in the statement.