Wal-Mart and Diabetes Supplies? Bring on the cost cutting!

A recent story on NPR says:

Wal-Mart Plans Ambitious Expansion Into Medical Care

“In health care, Wal-Mart has already flexed its super-size muscles when it comes to prescription drugs, says Ed Kaplan, a senior vice president at The Segal Company, an HR benefits firm. The company was the first to offer generic drugs at $4 for a month’s supply,and its low-cost pharmacy is popular with employers and seniors. Kaplan says Wal-Mart could bring its massive purchasing power to medical supplies, diabetes test strips, just about anything. (…)

Others aren’t sure the company’s approach can really work. “Maybe Wal-Mart can deliver a lot of this stuff more cheaply because it is an expert at doing this with other types of widgets, but health care is not a widget and managing individual human beings is not nearly as simple as selling commercial products to consumers,” says Ann O’Malley, a physician and senior health researcher at the Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonpartisan Washington think tank.”

 

Hmmm…I’m all about easier access to medical services even though I’m not a fan of the Wal-Mart experience (music, crowds, lights etc.) If they can sell cheaper diabetes supplies, I’ll become a loyal customer.

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