Walmart has decided to amp up its pharmacy business by adding a discount medication channel to consumers enrolled in its Walmart+ membership program.
The company says the new program -- called Walmart+ Rx for less -- will give members access to select medications at zero cost and thousands of additional prescription medications at a discount of up to 85%.
Walmart is entering a crowded field of drug coupon companies headed by GoodRx, but there’s a lot of money to be had in that category. GoodRx brought in $550.7 million in revenue in 2020, a 42% increase from 2019.
“With Walmart+ Rx for less, we’re providing incredible value to Walmart+ members on the prescriptions they rely on most,” said Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president, Health and Wellness, Walmart U.S.
“When you consider the frequency with which many prescriptions are filled, the importance of medication adherence and the ease of multiple fulfilment options, we can make it easier for someone to manage their medical conditions. As a company, we’re on a journey to make healthcare more accessible and affordable with our pharmacists providing their clinical expertise to our customers.”
How it works
Instead of using their existing health insurance, all Walmart+ members need to do is present their pharmacy savings card along with a valid prescription at any of the 4,865 Walmart Pharmacy locations.
The company says an added perk for Walmart+ members is that discounts can also be applied to e-prescriptions written by a prescriber (typically a physician) and transferred to the Walmart Pharmacy.
The program is administered by MedImpact, a company that competes alongside Express Scripts, CVS Caremark, WellCare, and OptumRx in the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) sector. With MedImpact as a partner, Walmart thinks it can make its program very attractive to consumers.
“We’re designing Walmart+ to be the ultimate life hack for our customers. It’s been our commitment from the beginning to continue to grow the suite of benefits we offer Walmart+ members. We know we can use our size and scale to help simplify things for our customers in a way only we can,” said Janey Whiteside, executive vice president and chief customer officer, Walmart U.S.
How good are the prices?
Because there are a lot of moving parts, Rx prices will fluctuate depending on deals that companies like Walmart cut with PBMs like MedImpact.
Nonetheless, ConsumerAffairs thought it would be interesting to do a quick test and see how the prices for the three most prescribed drugs in the U.S. compare between Walmart+ Rx for less and GoodRx. Here’s what we found using 40205 as the zip code:
Walmart+ Rx for less
Atorvastatin (40mg, 30 tablets)
$8.25 (at Meijer)
Lisinopril (20mg, 30 tablets)
$4 (at Walmart)
Levothyroxine (50mcg, 30 tablets)
$4 (at Walmart)