Asda to Sell Cancer Drugs at Cost
Wal-Mart Store’s Asda division in the U.K. announced yesterday
that it would sell drugs prescribed to treat various cancers at cost to consumers
unable to get the medicines through the the
National Health Service. The chain had previously taken the not-for-profit
approach with drugs used for in-vitro fertility (IVF) treatments.
The move is
expected to save consumers in the U.K. thousands of pounds and Asda made the
call for others to follow its lead. Markups by retailers on drugs to treat
various cancers can be as high as 76 percent, according to a Daily
"The crippling cost of paying privately for cancer treatment has forced
many people to spend their savings or even re-mortgage their house to pay for
these essential drugs," said John Evans, superintendent pharmacist at
Asda, in a press release.
Asda’s new CEO Andy Clarke said, "Saving people
money so they can live better is viewed by many as just the marketing slogan
of our parent company Walmart. However, when you see what we can achieve in
areas like cancer and IVF treatments to reduce prices, the reality of that
mission statement becomes very real and very personal."
Sainsbury and Superdrug
announced they would also sell cancer drugs at cost.
Discussion Questions: Do you see at-cost pricing on cancer
drugs as becoming an ethical imperative for large chains? Do you expect
to see some variation of at-cost programs to be offered and promoted in the
- World first: ‘Not for profit’ pricing on all cancer treatment drugs – Asda
drugs price war: Asda takes lead in pledge to ditch profits – Daily
- British supermarket says to sell cancer drugs at cost – AFP/Google