Meds

Kmart adds top generics to discount drug plan.

More than 70 new generic meds added.

July 11, 2007
(Reuters) — Kmart said on Wednesday that it is adding more than 70 new generic medications to its discount drug program, including generic forms of Zoloft and Zocor, which are not offered under a similar plan at Wal-Mart.

Under a program Kmart started in May 2006, consumers can get a 90-day supply of certain generic drugs for . Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, followed with a highly-publicized monthly plan put in place last fall.

Wal-Mart offers a variety of generic drugs for for a monthly supply, and its plan was matched by some competitors.

Kmart now offers sertraline, or the generic form of Pfizer’s Zoloft, which is used to treat depression. It also added simvastatin, or the generic form of Merck’s Zocor, which is used to treat high cholesterol, to its list. Kmart said that Zoloft and Zocor were the fifth and 10th-most prescribed branded drugs in 2005 before they became available as generics in 2006.

Sertraline and simvastatin are not on the list of drugs available for at Wal-Mart, which did not have an immediate comment on Wednesday morning.

“We remain comfortable that these generic programs should not have material impact on the PBM business model,” Lisa Gill, an analyst at JP Morgan who follows pharmacy benefits managers such as Express Scripts Inc., said in a research note.

“We point to the immaterial impact to mail order sales (with no impact to earnings) based on the Wal-Mart program introduced last fall.”

Gill said that other retailers could follow Kmart’s lead in offering generic Zocor but she does not expect any material impact if they do so. She reiterated “overweight” ratings on Express Scripts and Medco.

Kmart said its program also now includes 17 different formulations of generic prescription prenatal vitamins, which is a larger variety than other generic programs offer.

Kmart is owned by Sears Holdings Corp., whose shares rose 38 cents to 4.59 in late morning Nasdaq trade.

Editorial note from DF: Target, WalMart and KMart all offer discount programs for select generic meds. You can access complete listings and pricing on their individual websites.

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