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Wal-Mart Expands Direct-To-Employer Drug Trial

Bentonville, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. aims to expand a pilot with Caterpillar Inc. to negotiate drug prices for its 70,000 U.S. employees, retirees, and their spouses and children. The program launched two months ago.

The move is a part of an effort to cut costs in the supply chain, while expanding its low-cost prescription drug program.

Many companies, including Caterpillar, contract with pharmacy-benefits managers that negotiate prescription drug prices with vendors.

However, by bargaining directly with Wal-Mart, Caterpillar saved enough money that eligible employees who sign up for the program will not have to pay a co-payment to fill prescriptions for roughly 2,500 generic drugs.