How Health Care Reform Adds to Wal-Mart?s Pharmacy Woes

August 20, 2015

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog (Johnson, 8/20) reported that Wal-Mart blamed weaker quarterly earnings partly on its U.S. pharmacy business. With more consumers gaining coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), “the company is seeing lower reimbursement rates from drug insurance plans and a decline in high-margin cash transactions. … In 2006, Wal-Mart began offering hundreds of generic prescription drugs for $4. That was novel because retail pharmacies haven’t traditionally competed on the price of prescription drugs, which are largely hidden from consumers and attracted people who were paying full price for drugs, without insurance.”