Originally Posted by mlyonsd
Wal-Mart built their empire on American public stupidity. Providing products at lower prices forced many small companies out of business or forced them to move their production to cheap out of country labor.
Want a prescription? Pay more at the local pharmacy or go to Wal-Mart where you could get it cheaper. Tough shit for the local pharmacy.
This is more of the global market coming back to roost at home.
I saw a headline tonight on the paper that said "Medicare paid drug companies $5 billion in 2012." The headline tainted it as some great success story - as though it was "saving" people money. But let me ask you something - if the government wasn't subsidizing the drug companies through Medicare, wouldn't they drop their prices to go where the market CAN and WILL pay? What incentive to they have to lower their prices if they know government is ponying up the dollars? In fact, aren't they then incentivized to RAISE their prices? Of course they are. When government pays, you know that you can expect them to PAY MORE. In fact, you build business plans around getting them to do just that.
If Walmart is able to get the drugs to the consumers cheaper, they're about the only force in the world working to lower the price of prescription drugs, because there are no market forces left to do it - and clearly the government isn't going to regulate prices. They need the high prices to justify the need for more taxes.