Will prescription med discounts help Walmart+ gain ground on Amazon Prime?
Walmart is adding a new perk to its Walmart+ subscription program that promises members they’ll pay as little as $0 on select prescription medicines while receiving discounts on 85 percent of the thousands sold in the retailer’s pharmacies.
The new benefit known as “Walmart+ Rx for less” is part of Walmart’s commitment to expand the elements of its subscription plan, which currently offers unlimited free delivery from the chain’s stores; same-day delivery with in-store product pricing on more than 160,000 item; no minimum purchase for shipping; fuel discounts; and the ability to use the retailer’s Mobile Scan & Go technology shopping at the chain’s thousands of locations.
The addition also helps Walmart stay on par with Amazon.com whose Prime members currently receive free two-day deliveries and discounts on prescription meds that are sometimes offered at lower prices ($1) than when using medical insurance. Amazon Pharmacy also announced that it will now fill prescription drugs for six-month periods in addition to 30- and 90-day supplies. Reports last month also suggested that Amazon is considering opening its own pharmacies inside Whole Foods or in standalone locations.
The new Walmart+ perk continues Walmart’s tradition of trying to be the low price leader in the categories where it competes. The retailer began offering commonly prescribed medications in generic form for as low as $4 back in 2006.
“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., said in a statement. “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.”
Walmart+ members can choose to use their insurance benefits or use the retailer’s pharmacy savings card to get the best possible price on their medications. Members can also save with e-prescriptions sent by healthcare providers to the retailer’s pharmacies.
Janey Whiteside, executive vice president and chief customer officer, Walmart U.S., said the new benefit is part of the retailer’s strategy to make its subscription plan “the ultimate life hack for our customers.” She said Walmart will continue to do so because, “We know we can use our size and scale to help simplify things for our customers in a way only we can.”
- Walmart+ Adds Savings on Prescriptions to Growing Suite of Benefits – Walmart
- How it works – Walmart
- Will ending minimum purchases turn Walmart+ into a serious Amazon Prime rival? – RetailWire
- Meds as low as $1/month – Amazon.com
- Should Amazon or rivals be more wary if it opens brick and mortar pharmacies? – RetailWire
- Will Amazon’s new online pharmacy disrupt the U.S. drugstore business? – RetailWire
- CVS subscription program goes big to outdo Amazon Prime – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How popular do you expect the pharmacy perk to be with current Walmart+ members, and will it help drive new subscriptions? How will the introduction of Walmart+ Rx for less affect the retailer’s competition with not only Amazon but all rivals in pharmacy retail?