Walgreens prescribes more club card
A tough economy and cut throat competition is forcing US pharmacy retailer Walgreens to get more aggressive about marketing its prescription savings club card.
Its current initiative is to use online coupons to entice shoppers to ask about the savings club at the pharmacy and this is proving very successful. “We’re having thousands and thousands of sign-ups a week,” Walgreen Co. CEO Jeffrey Rein said.
The Walgreens savings club card carries a yearly fee of $20 for individuals and $35 for a family. It offers a three-month supply of certain generic drugs for $12.99 — a benefit started in November 2007.
The program expanded a couple of months ago to 400 generics from the initial 300.
The discounted generics include blood-pressure medicine Atenolol, diabetes medicine Metformin and cholesterol medicine Lovastatin. The card also offers varying savings on 5,000 medications, from Lipitor to Viagra.
Wal-Mart started a prescription price war in October 2006 when it started selling certain generic drugs for $4 each for a 30-day supply. On June 10, Safeway, parent company of Dominick’s, launched a $4 generic prescription drug program at its 77 Dominick’s pharmacies in the Chicago area.
Walgreen reported in June a 2 percent increase in its fiscal third-quarter profit, falling slightly short of Wall Street’s expectations. Sales at stores open at least a year grew 3.4 percent.