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Wal-Mart May Cut Drug Prices

September 21, 2006|From Bloomberg News

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will cut prices on generic drugs in Florida as it tries to lure customers to its pharmacies, people familiar with the company's plans said Wednesday.

The retailer is reducing prices on generic versions of 200 to 300 top prescription drugs to as little as $4, from an average of $25 to $30, the people said. The company will test the plan in Tampa, then cut prices in the rest of Florida on Jan. 1, the people said. The plan is expected to be announced today.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer's action comes at a time when health costs are soaring and a record number of Americans don't have insurance. Lowering prices may attract customers who otherwise wouldn't have shopped at Wal-Mart, said Patricia Edwards, a money manager at Wentworth, Hauser & Violich.

"How many people have been going to someplace else to get their drugs because Wal-Mart wasn't the cheapest?" she said.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sara Clark declined to comment.

Wal-Mart shares rose 37 cents to $48.87.

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