Walmart Against Opioids
Written by: Jaden Davantes
Walmart is offering a free way to get rid of your extra opioids. A product called DisposeRX can be used to turn pills into biodegradable gel, giving patients an easy way to get rid of pills that could potentially be dangerous. While opioids are great as prescription medication, if they fall into the wrong hands they can become very dangerous. According to Senator John Boozman, a third of all medications never end up being used, and according to cdc.gov there were over 42,000 opioid related deaths in 2016, with 40% of these deaths being prescription related. Walmart offering an opioid disposal method brings even more attention to these problems; when potential customers see that Walmart is offering this new, state of the art method to dispose of your old prescription medication, they’re more likely to look into why they would want this in the first place. All in all this results in change in the tastes or preference of consumers as Walmart not only brings more light to the opioid crisis, but also offers an easy and convenient solution. As the first large store to offer this option, Walmart can use this new feature to differentiate their products.
Walmart is an oligopoly, only competing with other superstores like Target Costco and Meijer, so it’s important for them to differentiate their products as much as possible. As stores that pride themselves on discounts and low prices, Walmart cannot set itself apart based on its brand name, so instead they’re taking steps to make their other features, like their pharmacy stand out. By bringing attention to a huge problem and then subsequently offering a free and accessible solution, Walmart is offering huge incentives to use their pharmacy over others. Moving ahead, it’s likely that Walmart’s competitors will also adopt features similar to this, to a point where consumer tastes change so that features such as opioid disposal are not a specialty, but an expectation, but for now, Walmart can take advantage of it to gain a foot up on its competitors.
Works CitedHan, Courtney. “Walmart Distributing First-of-Its-Kind Opioid Disposal Product.” ABC News, ABC News Network, abcnews.go.com/US/walmart-distributing-kind-opioid-disposal-product/story?id=52399156.\
“Opioid Overdose.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Oct. 2017, www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html.