business news in context, analysis with attitude

The press releases flowed like water yesterday as the industry’s top retailers expressed support for President Bush’s Medicare reform proposals.

• Wal-Mart said: “The President's proposal recognizes the vital role that community pharmacies play in the delivery of drug benefits and provides the framework for Congress to consider Medicare reform legislation. The company looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration to fashion a pharmacy benefit that is meaningful to the millions of senior citizens who shop in our stores every day.”

• Albertsons said it applauded “the Medicare reform principles announced by President Bush…which represent an important step forward in advancing health care security for our nation's seniors. This proposal recognizes, for the first time, the need for competitive alternatives to PBM's.”

• Kroger said: “The framework described by President Bush includes saving seniors 10-25% on the cost of prescription drugs. The savings will come from a discount prescription drug card program that pools the buying power of seniors to access discounts from pharmaceutical manufacturers.”

• Tim Hammonds, president of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), said that the President’s framework for reform was “a positive step in the direction of providing the nation’s seniors with the pharmacy benefit they need and deserve. FMI’s member companies -- food retailers and wholesalers -- can work with these principles to help craft a pharmacy benefit that works for all Medicare recipients across the U.S.”
KC's View: