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Pueblo pharmacy counters Wal-Mart discount program
07-Dec-2006: In a David and Goliath battle, at least one Pueblo pharmacy is fighting back against Wal-Mart's recent announcement that it has dropped prices on selected generic prescription drugs.
JB Pharmacy, 915 Northern Ave., last week announced an aggressive new program designed to lower prescription costs for their customers and perhaps even lure a few customers from Wal-Mart.
Under its new program, 90 pills of a generic drug will be available for $15. Ninety pills typically is a three-month supply at normal dosages.
In addition to the lowered prices, JB Pharmacy will deliver prescriptions within the city limits of Pueblo for an additional $2.50. The pharmacy also has a drive-through service.
"Our customers are not eager to switch. I guarantee we offer faster and more personalized service. Waits of more than five minutes are rare," said Jeanette Burns, manager and co-owner of JB Pharmacy.
"Our program is comparable to our competitors' (program) and our customers prefer to stick with us," she said.
The offer includes approximately 85 prescriptions for an array of categories including cardiovascular, diuretics, behavioral health, muscle relaxants, gastrointestinal, pain/inflammation, diabetes, women's health and others.
Customers who need "compounding" - the process of specifically mixing ingredients into a cream - cannot get that service at Wal-Mart, Jeanette Burns said. "It is a very specialized service and we still do it."
She said the pharmacist at JB Pharmacy also will help customers understand Medicare benefits and assist in enrolling them in the appropriate plan. The pharmacy will bill Medicare or other insurance for prescriptions and durable medical equipment such as canes, walkers and other supplies.
Burns doesn't think the Wal-Mart discount program will seriously hurt her business or tempt her customers. She said she welcomes the competition, adding that overall, the customers will benefit.
The longtime Pueblo business was established 49 years ago by Burns' father, Jim Burns, who continues to work in the business.
Jeanette Burns said they successfully have responded to various competitive challenges over the years. "This is just one more opportunity to strengthen our bond with our customers," she said.
Source: Pueblo Chieftain