- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 5, 2006

1:22 p.m.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Wal-Mart announced today that it will sell select generic prescription drugs at a sharply reduced price in all of Florida, nearly four months earlier than expected.

The world’s biggest retailer is already selling 291 generic medications at a price of $4 for a month’s supply at its stores in the Tampa Bay area. Critics say that number is misleading and amounts to only about 125 different drugs because Wal-Mart counted the same drug in different dosages to come up with its total.

It announced the Tampa Bay program two weeks ago, and Wal-Mart executives said at the time they would look to expand the program statewide in January, and nationwide after that.

But Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executives said customer demand and requests from Florida officials led them to expand the program throughout the state. The list of drugs also has been expanded to 314 medications. It was not immediately clear how many different drugs are included in that figure.

Consumers could save an average of 20 percent, and up to 90 percent on some prescriptions under the program. The drugs covered are used to treat conditions ranging from high-blood pressure to allergies.

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