I also really hate that little smiley face that dances around and lowers prices.
The most recent thing they have done, however, could have real big positive effects. Effective last month, they are charging only $4 for a long list of generic prescriptions. Our local Wal-Mart has begun doing this and the response has been huge. Patients are all wanting these generic medications if possible. Other pharmacies (like Kroger) have matched these prices. Overall, the savings to patients will be great, making more drugs affordable for more people. I have done my best to try to use medications from that list when possible.
I am well aware that this is a ploy to get more people into their stores to buy other things - that is the same ploy many of the chain pharmacies use. But it is refreshing to see prices dropping rather than going up.
Generic drugs are generally overpriced. Why should a company who spent little to no money on development of a drug still charge even half of the price of the branded drug? Why? Because they can. Hopefully this move by Wal-Mart will force them to come down to a more reasonable level in their prices.