Will Wal-Mart make drug retailers sick?

Jonathan Berr

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) is poised to conquer the world of health care.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the world's largest retailer is entering the pharmacy benefits business, offering corporations access to cheap drugs through its in-store pharmacies. Given how badly health care costs are spiraling out of control, many companies should be tempted by Wal-Mart's new service.

"Expenditures in the United States on health care surpassed $2 trillion in 2006, almost three times the $714 billion spent in 1990, and over eight times the $253 billion spent in 1980," according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.