Walmart+ offers deep discounts on prescription drugs; what are they doing other pharmacies aren't?

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Walmart+ is a membership program that costs $12.95 a month or $98 a year. It offers free shipping and delivery, discounts on gasoline and ways to speed up the shopping process. Now, it is offering deep discounts on prescription medications.

Walmart says the average drug discount is 65% and some prices are marked down as much as 85%. A bunch of medications cost just two bucks for a month supply under the the Walmart+ program.

7 On Your Side asked Walmart for an interview; it declined. So we turned to the creator of TrueCostOfHealthcare.org, Dr. David Belk.

"There's nothing magical about what Walmart is doing," Dr. Belk says, "or what any pharmacy that offers prescription drugs for cash for low cash prices are doing."

Dr. Belk is a consumer advocate based out of Alameda. He has been spreading the word for years that many prescription drugs are very cheap.

"People are so accustomed to using their insurance for buying these medications that they have lost touch with the factor that these medications don't cost very much to begin with," Dr. Belk tells 7 On Your Side.

Dr. Belk says the best way to get a deal is to shop around and ask about prices with insurance and without. Often costs are less when you do not use your insurance.

7 On Your Side's Michael Finney asked him what it means that Walmart+ is offering such a drug benefit?

"It says they are willing to get out ahead of the game and talk about something that everyone ought to know, but not nearly enough people are talking about," says Dr. Belk. "They are simply advertising a policy that a lot of other pharmacies are willing to do, but not ready to advertise, yet. That is all."

In some states Walmart is offering certain medications for free, but not here in California. Here, customers buying those medications will be charged $2 for a month supply.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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