Giant Eagle Expands Discount Drug Program; Lowers HBC Prices

PITTSBURGH - Opening the door wider for consumers to access discounted prescription drugs, Giant Eagle Inc. here is adding about 100 prescription drugs to its popular $4 generic prescription drug program, boosting the program to more than 400 medications.

The chain is coupling the move with another round of price reductions, this time dropping prices about 8 percent on 275 health and beauty care products. The tandem tactics further strengthen Giant Eagle's commitment to the health and wellness of its customers, said chain spokesman Rob Borella during a media conference call yesterday.

The supermarket chain first launched the $4 generic drug program in late 2006. It covers commonly prescribed dosages, of up to a 30-day supply, of participating generic drugs.

Beginning today, Giant Eagle extends the discounted prescription program to products to related to allergy and asthma, heart health and vitamins, as well as classes of medications for cholesterol management, family planning, and oncology.

Randy Heiser, the chain's v.p./pharmacy said, the new program represents "the most extensive $4 generic drug program in the U.S." Borella said the program has proven to be "extremely successful" with tens of thousands of the chain's pharmacy customers.

The enhanced generic drug program also reduces prescription prices to $9 on 12 new drugs, including clomiphene citrate (family planning), methyldopa (heart health) and benzoyl peroxide cream wash (skin conditions). Heiser said generic drugs account for about two-thirds of the prescriptions filled at chain.

Giant Eagle links the new program to its Giant Eagle Pharmacy Rewards program, which also offers participating customers priority flu shot and immunization scheduling, free blood pressure testing, and free store tours and educational materials with a focus on nutrition counseling and food education.

The concurrent price cuts for 275 common drug store items comes less than two months after Giant Eagle lowered prices on hundreds of grocery items to help customers develop quick and easy meals.

Borella said the drug store price cuts will save customers roughly $2 million in annualized savings, building on the approximately $4 million in annualized savings Giant Eagle expect it will deliver via the expanded $4 generic prescription program.
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