Sunday 29 March 2009

Wal-Mart Increases Buying Muscle in Prescription Medicines…

( A small step for W-M, a monumental move in cost-reduction of healthcare provision, everywhere…)
In the US, Wal-Mart' new partnership with Caterpillar Inc means the retailer will negotiate with manufacturers and supply ethical pharmaceuticals to Caterpillar's 70,000 employees, a service that will probably be extended to other major companies wishing to reduce employee healthcare costs.
In doing so, Wal-mart will bypass the Pharmacy Benefit Manager system*, which accounts for over 70% of ethical pharmaceutical medicines dispensed in the US.
- How well will prescription medicine contract-negotiators handle Wal-Mart buyers?
- When will W-M try to aggregate their purchases of OTC and Ethicals from individual manufacturers?
- How long before Tesco, Carrefour, Alliance Boots explore their options?
- Given the global financial crisis, how long before governments everywhere see this as a way of further reducing healthcare costs?
- A new momentum for parapharmacy?

NB Even if this is a million miles from your immediate day-job, why not point your healthcare colleagues/network-partners at this blog-item, by way of early warning of the type of negotiating customary in your category…?

(*A Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) is a third party administrator of prescription drug programmes. They are primarily responsible for processing and paying prescription drug claims. They also are responsible for developing and maintaining the formulary, contracting with pharmacies, and negotiating discounts and rebates with drug manufacturers. Responsible for approx 70% of US prescription medicine purchases)

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