Regardless of the department you shop in, Sam’s Club strives to bring the highest-quality products to its members. In our award-winning Pharmacy, our goal is to not only meet the highest standards for quality but also care, service and prescriptions. We aren’t just serving members — we’re treating patients.

That is why we put so much time and effort into securing quality generic medications. Currently, our Pharmacies carry between 6,000 and 8,000 generic medications. These medications are all FDA approved and bioequivalent to the name-brand product. Bioequivalent means the generic medications have identical active ingredients and react in the body the same as the name-brand drugs.

We look at several factors as we search for medications to provide to our members. Quality is always our first priority. Generics are thoroughly tested by the FDA to prove they have the same equivalencies (active ingredients, strength and dosage) as the name-brand medications. The thousands of generic drugs available at Sam’s Club are manufactured and inspected under the

same strict quality guidelines as the branded medications they mimic.

When a medication is first developed, the pharmaceutical company that creates the drug receives a patent on their finished product. Patents can last as long as 20 years, allowing the company to cover the costs of the research and development of their medication. Once that patent expires, a generic version of the drug becomes available.

Generics are sold under the medication’s chemical name, while still meeting the same quality and effectiveness standards as the original, under the same regulations of the FDA. In many cases, the manufacturer of the name-brand drug is also the maker for the generic medication.

All generic pharmaceutical medications must contain the same active ingredient; be identical in strength, dosage form and administration (pill, capsule, spray, etc.); have identical labeling and indications; and provide the same bioequivalences as the name brand.

The FDA also requires generic drug manufacturers to meet the same batch-to-batch requirements for strength, purity, quality and to follow its established “Good Manufacturing Practices” rules.

If it meets those stringent quality standards, then we need to make sure we can have a reliable supply of the product. We are a full-service Pharmacy, so if there is a generic medication a patient needs that we don’t have in stock, the in-club Pharmacists can special order it and usually have it for the patient the following business day.

One of the key differences between generic and branded medications in-club is that we’re able to directly negotiate the costs of the generics with the manufacturers. That in turn helps our Pharmacy patients save money.

Some members may have an insurance benefit that covers all or part of the cost of their generic drugs. Sam’s Plus® Members not using insurance may have access to a handful of generic medications for free and others at either $4 or $10. Your Sam’s Club Pharmacist is happy to provide members with details regarding this program.*

For more information about generic medications, please visit:

www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingGenericDrugs/

William Thompson is the Senior Buyer for Rx Generics and has been with Sam’s Club for seven years.

* Free prescriptions are available to Sam’s Plus Members only and not to non-Plus members. Offer is not transferable and available only at Sam’s Club Pharmacies and is not available on SamsClub.com. Only the quantity, formulation, and strength stated on the Extra Value Drug List (“EVDL”) itself will be offered for $0. Full list available at SamsClub.com/EVDL. There will be a cost for quantities greater than the listed quantity. Free prescriptions and prices listed in the EVDL do not apply to purchases submitted to any health benefit program, pharmacy benefit program, insurer, or government health care program. Free medications are not available in the following states: CA, GA, HI, MA, MD, ME, MN, OK, PA, PR, SC, and WI. This offer may not be combined with other offers, discount cards or discount arrangements, or promotions. Free prescriptions are not available when the listed prescriptions are dispensed as part of a compound. Free prescriptions may be limited to covered prescription drugs of select manufacturers that are in stock at the dispensing pharmacy. Valid prescription required. Other restrictions may apply. Terms subject to change without notice. See your local Sam’s Club Pharmacy for details. Taxes or other fees may apply.