This could get very interesting. Target – not surprisingly – today announced that “consistent with its long-standing practice to be price competitive with Wal*Mart, Target will match Wal*Mart’s new, lower prices on generic drugs in the Tampa Bay area beginning immediately. Target remains committed to providing guests added value and quality service as part of its “Expect More. Pay Less.” brand promise.” No word if they will follow the promised rollout to the state of Florida in January and nationwide next year.
Target introduced a new package and label design for prescription drugs that are cleaner and clearer for patients. Wal-mart probably squeezed some money out of their suppliers, and are adding automated dispensing equipment that will help further shave their cost of fulfilling prescriptions. A penny here, a penny there. When you install equipment like this, the key to making it cost effective is to do volume.
Pharmaceuticals have a demonstrable impact on healthcare costs. More importantly, pharmaceuticals have a demonstrable impact on improving health, so encouraging compliance with physician prescriptions is an important component in improving our national outcomes from healthcare spending.
OK – so who will make the next move – Walgreen’s?