When Wal-Mart first lowered the price of certain generic prescription drugs to $4 for a 30-day supply, consumers wondered how they could do it. Wouldn't they lose money? Of course they would lose money on the prescription, but the master of merchandising knew they'd more than make up for those losses on what you'd purchase while you were waiting for your prescription.

Now Wal-Mart has announced that it's going to make even more drugs available for $4 (30 day supply) or $10 (90 day supply). These aren't your newest, fanciest drugs. But they are common generics that many people take daily. They will now have over 1,000 prescription drugs available at bargain basement prices.

And there's another bright side for consumers: Even if you don't shop at Wal-Mart, you might benefit. Consumers filling their prescriptions at Target also receive the same bargain pricing, in an effort to compete with Wal-Mart. And I'm sure there are other chains that have also followed suit, giving consumers several options for extremely affordable prescription drugs.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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