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Walgreen Co. issued a statement yesterday regarding Wal-Mart's highly touted promotional drug pricing program, saying, in essence, that it doesn’t intend to play by Wal-Mart’s rules.

The statement read, in part:

“Wal-Mart’s limited price promotion is in response to the increasing number of seniors choosing Walgreens for their pharmacy needs. Therefore, Walgreens will not match Wal-Mart’s promotion. Once consumers learn the fine print of Wal-Mart's program, they'll realize Walgreens offers the best value for pharmacy patients with its convenient locations, close-in parking and unique pharmacy services.”

In the statement, Walgreen maintains that, among other things:

• “Seniors covered under Medicare Part D prescription insurance on average will pay more at Wal-Mart for these medications than they would at Walgreens.”

• “Wal-Mart's promotional pricing doesn't cover any brand-name medications” and fewer than “5 percent of generic drugs are included in Wal-Mart's promotion.”

And, Walgreen wrote, “It’s also important to patient safety that people use one pharmacy for all their medication needs. By having their complete prescription record available at one pharmacy, the pharmacist can do a complete check for drug interactions that could cause other health problems for the patient.”
KC's View:
We think this is the smart way to compete. Everybody else seems to be looking for ways to match Wal-Mart, which leads to a sense of “me, too” that allows Wal-Mart to dominate the debate and determine the rules.

Which makes no sense for retailers trying to compete with the Bentonville Behemoth.