Walmart sells smoking cessation medicine for $9.

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Last month Walmart announced that it has started selling the prescription-only smoking cessation medicine, bupropion (same drug as brand version, Zyban) at a lower price than any other effective smoking cessation medicine.

The starter pack, consisting of 17 bupropion 150mg extended-release tablets (a 10-day supply), sells for $9, and subsequent 30-day supplies (60 tablets) will cost $27 (less than $7 per week). Bupropion is typically taken as a single 150mg tablet per day for the first 3 days, then two tablets a day for the next 4 days. The smoker is advised to quit smoking completely on day 8, and continue on two tablets a day for approximately 8 weeks thereafter .

Currently smokers who don’t have health insurance coverage that includes smoking cessation medicines have to pay prices ranging from around $20 for a small box of generic nicotine gum intended to last a few days, up to around $55 for a 2-week supply of nicotine patches or around $130 for a month supply of varenicline (Chantix).

So the chance to get started on bupropion for an initial outlay of only $9, is much less expensive than other options, as is the continuing cost of around $27 per month. Not everyone can tolerate bupropion’s slightly stimulant initial side effect (including agitation and insomnia), but the initial 10-day supply is designed to take people to 3-days after their target quit date. So the smoker can find out if bupropion is helpful to them without a large initial financial outlay.
Bupropion also has the advantage that it can be combined with nicotine replacement therapy (e.g. nicotine gum) to obtain better results, as discussed in a prior blog posting: http://www.healthline.com/blogs/smoking_cessation/2007/09/does-it-help-to-add-nicotine-gum-to.html

You can find full details of the outcomes of smoking cessation treatment with bupropionas described in the New England Journal of Medicine at: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/340/9/685

You can find details of the Walmart announcement at: http://walmartstores.com/FactsNews/NewsRoom/8904.aspx
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About the Author


MA, MAppSci, PhD

Dr. Jonathan Foulds is an expert in the field of tobacco addiction.

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