Beginning today, Wal-Mart is offering certain generic prescription drugs for a flat rate of four dollars, regardless of whether customers have insurance or not.
Everyone likes to get things for a discount, and many Wal-Mart customers are pleasantly surprised to hear that they'll be paying less for some of their prescriptions.
"Some people can't eat at night, or can't buy their groceries during the month because they have to save to buy their medication," said customer Sammy Newsome.
The plan covers a wide range of drugs, including antibiotics, anti-depressants, and medications that treat high blood pressure and heart disease--all at a cost of only four dollars.
"If their insurance co-pay was higher than that, it'll be reflected in just a four-dollar co-pay. If they don't have any insurance at all, it'll be four dollars," said Wal-Mart pharmacist Olin Wilson.
But other local pharmacists are concerned that Wal-Mart's new plan may be misleading to customers.
"I think there's been a good marketing job done to create this idea that every drug consumers are used to taking is going to be covered," said pharmacist David Lovett, who runs North Columbus Pharmacy.
Lovett warns that customers have to be educated about their medications if they're using more than one pharmacy. Using two different stores raises the risk that you may be prescribed medications that could react badly with one another.
"When people are hopping around to multiple pharmacies on some of their prescriptions, but keeping drugs covered by insurance at their regular pharmacies, you can see the problem here with patients having multiple drugs scattered around to different pharmacies," Lovett said.
But Wal-Mart says saving money is always a good thing.
"It's going to help drive the cost of their medications down where they can afford to do other things with their money," Olin Wilson said.
Wal-mart's generic prescription plan lists 314 medications available under the $4 plan, but many of the drugs are listed more than once under different dosage strengths. We counted only 143 individual products.