CHICAGO Nov 13 Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N) said on
Thursday it added about 100 drugs to its low-cost generic plan,
one of several programs that target the millions of Americans
who have little or no health insurance.
Major U.S. drugstore chains saw competition heat up when
Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) launched its $4 monthly generic
prescription plan in September 2006. Other discount chains and
supermarkets quickly followed with their own low- or no-cost
offerings on generic drugs.
At first, drugstores kept their regular pricing, but as of
this week, each of the three major U.S. drugstore chains has
its own discount program with different twists.
Walgreen Co WAG.N has had a low-cost plan since late 2007
that charges $20 for an individual enrollment, or $35, for a
family and offers 90-day generic prescriptions for $12.
Rite Aid's program, which has no annual fee, has been
running nationally since the end of September. Shoppers pay
$8.99 for a 30-day supply, or $15.99 for a 90-day supply of
generic drugs. Some of the genetic categories expanded under
Rite Aid's plan on Thursday include pediatric antibiotics, such
as augmentin, as well as cough and cold products and
dermatological treatments, a spokeswoman said.
CVS Caremark Corp (CVS.N) launched its plan, which has a
$10 annual fee, on Nov. 9. CVS charges $9.99 for a 90-day
supply of generic drugs.
Under Rite Aid's plan, generic medications not on the list
and branded drugs are offered at a 20 percent discount. So,
patients with prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs
Viagra, Levitra, Cialis and other drugs without generic
alternatives can get the drugs at lower prices even if they are
Rite Aid said it is also offering certain generic birth-
control pills for $19.99 per month, a 20 percent discount on
immunizations, such as flu shots and a 10 percent discount on
certain Rite Aid branded products such as over-the-counter
medications. CVS and Walgreen also offer various discounts.
(Reporting by Jessica Wohl; Editing by Andre Grenon)